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Credit Constraints and Self-Fulfilling Business Cycles

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  • Zheng Liu
  • Pengfei Wang

Abstract

We argue that credit constraints not only amplify fundamental shocks, they can also lead to self-fulfilling business cycles. We study a model with heterogeneous firms, in which imperfect contract enforcement implies that productive firms face binding credit constraints, with the borrowing capacity limited by expected equity value. A drop in equity value tightens credit constraints and reallocates resources from productive to unproductive firms. Such reallocation reduces aggregate productivity, further depresses equity value, generating a financial multiplier. Aggregate dynamics are isomorphic to those in a representative-agent economy with increasing returns. For sufficiently tight credit constraints, the model generates self-fulfilling business cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • Zheng Liu & Pengfei Wang, 2014. "Credit Constraints and Self-Fulfilling Business Cycles," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 32-69, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:32-69
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.6.1.32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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