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The Magnitude and Cyclical Behavior of Financial Market Frictions

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  • Andrew T. Levin
  • Fabio M. Natalucci

Abstract

We analyze a new panel data set that includes balance sheet information, measures of expected default risk, and credit spreads on publicly-traded debt for more than 900 firms over the period 1997Q1 through 2003Q3. We obtain precise time-specific estimates of the financial frictions parameter underlying the benchmark financial accelerator model of Bernanke, Gertler, and Gilchrist (1999) and clearly reject the null hypothesis of no credit market imperfections; furthermore, for the expansionary period through mid-2000, these estimates are quite similar to the calibrated values used in previous research. Finally, we find that financial market frictions exhibit strong cyclical pattern, with parameter estimates rising by a factor of two during the latest economic downturn before returning to pre-recession levels in 2003.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 443.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:443

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Keywords: external finance premium; bankruptcy costs; financial accelerator;

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  1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
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