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Revisiting Overborrowing and its Policy Implications

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  • Benigno, Gianluca
  • Chen, Huigang
  • Otrok, Christopher
  • Rebucci, Alessandro
  • Young, Eric R

Abstract

This paper analyzes quantitatively the extent to which there is overborrowing (i.e., inefficient borrowing) in a business cycle model for emerging market economies with production and an occasionally binding credit constraint. The main finding of the analysis is that overborrowing is not a robust feature of this class of model economies: it depends on the structure of the economy and its parametrization. Specifically, we find underborrowing in a production economy with our baseline calibration, but overborrowing with more impatient agents and more volatile shocks. Endowment economies display overborrowing regardless of parameter values, but they do not allow for policy intervention when the constraint binds (in crisis times). Quantitatively, the welfare gains from implementing the constrained-efficient allocation are always larger near crisis times than in normal ones. In production economies, they are one order of magnitude larger than in endowment economies both in crisis and normal times. This suggests that the scope for economy-wide macro-prudential policy interventions (e.g. prudential taxation of capital flows and capital controls) is weak in this class of models.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7872.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7872

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Keywords: Bailouts; Financial Frictions; Macro Prudential Policies; Overborrowing;

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  1. Javier Bianchi, 2011. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3400-3426, December.
  2. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Are shocks to the terms of trade shocks to productivity?," Staff Report 391, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  9. Nikolov, Kalin, 2010. "Is Private Leverage Excessive?," MPRA Paper 28407, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2010.
  10. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
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  12. Ricardo J Caballero, 2010. "Sudden Financial Arrest," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 58(1), pages 6-36, August.
  13. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Karl Friedrich Habermeier & Marcos Chamon & Mahvash Saeed Qureshi & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt, 2010. "Capital Inflows," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
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