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Moral-hazard credit cycles with risk-averse agents

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  • Myerson, Roger B.

Abstract

We consider a simple overlapping-generations model with risk-averse financial agents subject to moral hazard. Efficient contracts for such financial intermediaries involve back-loaded late-career rewards. Compared to the analogous model with risk-neutral agents, risk aversion tends to reduce the growth of agents' responsibilities over their careers. This moderation of career growth rates can reduce the amplitude of the widest credit cycles, but it also can cause small deviations from steady state to amplify over time in rational-expectations equilibria. We find equilibria in which fluctuations increase until the economy enters a boom/bust cycle where no financial agents are hired in booms.

Suggested Citation

  • Myerson, Roger B., 2014. "Moral-hazard credit cycles with risk-averse agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 74-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:153:y:2014:i:c:p:74-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2014.05.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Roger B. Myerson, 2012. "A Model of Moral-Hazard Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 847-878.
    3. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    4. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matsuyama, Kiminori & Sushko, Iryna & Gardini, Laura, 2016. "Revisiting the model of credit cycles with Good and Bad projects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 525-556.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral hazard; Credit cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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