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On borrowing limits and welfare


  • Francesc Obiols-Homs

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)


We study the effect of borrowing limits on welfare in several versions of exchange and production economies. There is a "quantity" effect of a larger borrowing limit which is beneficial for liquidity constrained agents, but essentially irrelevant otherwise. There is also a ``price effect" which tends to increase the interest rate so that lenders are better off and borrowers are worse off. The combination of these effects produces that aggregate welfare in equilibrium (or ex ante welfare) displays an inverted U-shape as a function of the borrowing limit. In infinite horizon economies with incomplete markets we find a sizable "middle class" of not liquidity constrained but indebted agents that observes small gains, or even loses, after the borrowing limit is enlarged. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Francesc Obiols-Homs, 2011. "On borrowing limits and welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 279-294, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:08-181
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    Cited by:

    1. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Rising indebtedness and temptation: A welfare analysis," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(2), pages 257-288, July.
    2. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Japaridze, Irakli, 2017. "Trickle-down consumption, financial deregulation, inequality, and indebtedness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 1-26.
    3. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2015. "Public versus private provision of liquidity: Is there a trade-off?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 314-339.
    4. Leimbach Marian & Baumstark Lavinia & Luderer Gunnar, 2015. "The Role of Time Preferences in Explaining the Long-Term Pattern of International Trade," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 83-106, March.
    5. Marian Leimbach & Baumstark, Lavinia, 2011. "Intertemporal trade and the Integrated Assessment of climate change mitigation policies," EcoMod2011 3036, EcoMod.
    6. Kartik B. Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2012. "Debt default and the insurance of labor income risks," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 255-307.

    More about this item


    Borrowing constraints; Incomplete markets; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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