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Dynamics of Secured and Unsecured Debt Over the Business Cycle

Author

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  • Paul Luk

    (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research)

  • Tianxiao Zheng

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

This paper studies corporate debt structure over the business cycle and its implications for aggregate macroeconomic dynamics. We develop a tractable macro-finance model featuring debt heterogeneity with both secured and unsecured debt. Unlike secured debt, unsecured debt gives the lenders no access to the borrowers' assets in the event of default, and borrowers keep their assets at the cost of losing future access to the unsecured debt market. The difference in the nature of debt contracts leads to different risk taking behavior in the two debt markets. Our model generates strongly procyclical unsecured debt and weakly procyclical secured debt, in line with the stylized facts in US data. Moreover, we show that the inclusion of heterogeneous debt structures creates additional amplification effects relative to Bernanke et al. (1999). (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Luk & Tianxiao Zheng, 2022. "Dynamics of Secured and Unsecured Debt Over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 44, pages 284-314, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:19-289
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2021.01.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Efraim Benmelech & Nitish Kumar & Raghuram Rajan, 2020. "The Decline of Secured Debt," NBER Working Papers 26637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Secured debt; Unsecured debt; Corporate debt structure; Financial accelerator;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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