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Risk, Adverse Selection and Capital Market Failure


  • de Meza, David
  • Webb, David


This paper investigates the implications of adverse selection for capital market equilibrium when borrowers are risk averse. K. J. Arrow and R. C. Lind (1970) argue that when capital markets fail to spread risk properly interest rates are too high. The market adds a risk premium that the social planner would not. This paper shows that when projects differ in quality, in a pooling equilibrium, the private market sets interest rates too low even accounting for the risk premium. Hence, there is overinvestment. The result is shown to be robust to the introduction of moral hazard. Copyright 1990 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • de Meza, David & Webb, David, 1990. "Risk, Adverse Selection and Capital Market Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 206-214, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:100:y:1990:i:399:p:206-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Campbell, John Y. & Clarida, Richard H., 1987. "The dollar and real interest rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 103-139, January.
    2. Myung Jig Kim & Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1991. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices? A Reappraisal of the Empirical Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 515-528.
    3. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1142-1151, December.
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    5. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    6. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
    7. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1988. " Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 661-676, July.
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    18. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
    19. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1189-1214, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Keasey & Robert Watson, 1995. "The Bank Financing of Small Unlisted Firms in the UK: An Analysis of Recent Conflicts," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 4(2), pages 143-163, Fall.
    2. Konrad, Kai A., 1991. "Taxation and risk taking in a capital market equilibrium with self-selection," EconStor Research Reports 112683, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    3. Parker, Simon C, 2002. "Do Banks Ration Credit to New Enterprises? And Should Governments Intervene? President's Lecture Delivered at the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Economic Society 4-5 September 2001," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(2), pages 162-195, May.
    4. Jose L Wynne, 2001. "Financial Frictions in Business Cycles, Trade and Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000127, David K. Levine.
    5. Xavier Giné & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2010. "Microfinance Games," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 60-95, July.
    6. Bas Jacobs & Sweder J. G. van Wijnbergen, 2007. "Capital-Market Failure, Adverse Selection, and Equity Financing of Higher Education," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(1), pages 1-32, March.
    7. Ibrahimo, M.V. & Barros, C.P., 2009. "Relevance or irrelevance of capital structure?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 473-479, March.
    8. Huo, Jingjing, 2015. "How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198735847, June.
    9. Robert E. Carpenter & Bruce C. Petersen, 2002. "Capital Market Imperfections, High-Tech Investment, and New Equity Financing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages 54-72, February.
    10. Silvo, Aino, 2017. "House prices, lending standards, and the macroeconomy," Research Discussion Papers 4/2017, Bank of Finland.
    11. Pooran Wynarczyk & Robert Watson, 2005. "Firm Growth and Supply Chain Partnerships: An Empirical Analysis of U.K. SME Subcontractors," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 39-51, February.

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