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Dynamic Adverse Selection: A Theory of Illiquidity, Fire Sales, and Flight to Quality

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  • Veronica Guerrieri
  • Robert Shimer

Abstract

We develop a dynamic equilibrium model of asset markets with adverse selection. There exists a unique equilibrium in which better quality assets trade at higher prices but with a lower price-dividend ratio in less liquid markets. Sellers of high-quality assets signal quality by accepting a lower trading probability. We show how the distribution of sellers' private information affects an asset's price and liquidity, how a change in that distribution can cause a fire sale and a flight to quality, and how asset purchase and subsidy programs may raise prices and liquidity and reverse the flight to quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer, 2014. "Dynamic Adverse Selection: A Theory of Illiquidity, Fire Sales, and Flight to Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1875-1908, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:7:p:1875-1908
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.7.1875
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2008. "Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2195-2230, October.
    2. Camargo, Braz & Lester, Benjamin, 2014. "Trading dynamics in decentralized markets with adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 534-568.
    3. Thorsten V. Koeppl & Jonathan Chiu, 2010. "Market Freeze and Recovery: Trading Dynamics under Optimal Intervention by a Market-Maker-of-Last-Resort," 2010 Meeting Papers 78, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "Liquidity in Asset Markets With Search Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 403-426, March.
    5. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2010. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1823-1862, November.
    6. Briana Chang, 2011. "Adverse Selection and Liquidity Distortion in Decentralized Markets," Discussion Papers 1513, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. Andrea L. Eisfeldt, 2004. "Endogenous Liquidity in Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 1-30, February.
    8. V.V. Chari & Ali Shourideh & Ariel Zetlin-Jones, 2010. "Adverse Selection, Reputation and Sudden Collapses in Secondary Loan Markets," NBER Working Papers 16080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    10. Briana Chang, 2011. "Adverse Selection and Liquidity Distortion in Decentralized Markets," 2011 Meeting Papers 157, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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