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Dynamic Financial Constraints: Distinguishing Mechanism Design From Exogenously Incomplete Regimes

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  • Alexander Karaivanov
  • Robert M. Townsend

Abstract

We formulate and solve a range of dynamic models of constrained credit/insurance that allow for moral hazard and limited commitment. We compare them to full insurance and exogenously incomplete financial regimes (autarky, saving only, borrowing and lending in a single asset). We develop computational methods based on mechanism design, linear programming, and maximum likelihood to estimate, compare, and statistically test these alternative dynamic models with financial/information constraints. Our methods can use both cross‐sectional and panel data and allow for measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity. We estimate the models using data on Thai households running small businesses from two separate samples. We find that in the rural sample, the exogenously incomplete saving only and borrowing regimes provide the best fit using data on consumption, business assets, investment, and income. Family and other networks help consumption smoothing there, as in a moral hazard constrained regime. In contrast, in urban areas, we find mechanism design financial/information regimes that are decidedly less constrained, with the moral hazard model fitting best combined business and consumption data. We perform numerous robustness checks in both the Thai data and in Monte Carlo simulations and compare our maximum likelihood criterion with results from other metrics and data not used in the estimation. A prototypical counterfactual policy evaluation exercise using the estimation results is also featured.

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  • Alexander Karaivanov & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "Dynamic Financial Constraints: Distinguishing Mechanism Design From Exogenously Incomplete Regimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 887-959, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:82:y:2014:i:3:p:887-959
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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. Aida, Takeshi, 2015. "Spatial vs. Social Network Effects in Risk Sharing," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 210937, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Dabla-Norris, Era & Ji, Yan & Townsend, Robert M & Unsal, Derya Filiz, 2017. "Distinguishing Constraints on Financial Inclusion and Their Impact on GDP and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 11742, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Arifovic, Jasmina & Karaivanov, Alexander, 2010. "Learning by doing vs. learning from others in a principal-agent model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1967-1992, October.
    5. Árpád Ábrahám & Sarolta Laczó, 2013. "Efficient Risk Sharing with Limited Commitment and Storage," Working Papers 697, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Krislert Samphantharak & Sam Schulhofer‐Wohl & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "Heterogeneity and risk sharing in village economies," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 1-27, March.
    7. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2015. "Entrepreneurship and Financial Frictions: A Macrodevelopment Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 409-436, August.
    8. Golosov, M. & Tsyvinski, A. & Werquin, N., 2016. "Recursive Contracts and Endogenously Incomplete Markets," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    9. Greenwood, Jeremy & Han, Pengfei & Sanchez, Juan M., 2017. "Financing Ventures," Working Papers 2017-35, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    10. Krislert Samphantharak & Robert M. Townsend, 2018. "Risk and Return in Village Economies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
    11. Benjamin Moll & Robert M. Townsend & Victor Zhorin, 2013. "Economic Development, Flow of Funds and the Equilibrium Interaction of Financial Frictions," NBER Working Papers 19618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Tobias Broer & Tessa Bold, 2015. "Risk-Sharing in Village Economies Revisited," 2015 Meeting Papers 1232, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. repec:sip:dpaper:15-010 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Delpierre, Matthieu & Verheyden, Bertrand & Weynants, Stéphanie, 2016. "Is informal risk-sharing less effective for the poor? Risk externalities and moral hazard in mutual insurance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 282-297.
    15. Karaivanov, Alexander, 2012. "Financial constraints and occupational choice in Thai villages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 201-220.
    16. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 21207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Roberto Steri & Lukas Schmid & Boris Nikolov, 2017. "Dynamic Financial Constraints: Which Frictions Matter for Corporate Policies?," 2017 Meeting Papers 630, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Joseph P. Kaboski & Robert M. Townsend, 2011. "A Structural Evaluation of a Large‐Scale Quasi‐Experimental Microfinance Initiative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1357-1406, September.
    19. Ligon, Ethan & Collins, Elliott, 2017. "Asset Transfers and Household Neediness," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt24t720fk, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    20. Era Dabla-Norris & Yan Ji & Robert M. Townsend & Filiz D Unsal, 2015. "Identifying Constraints to Financial Inclusion and Their Impact on GDP and Inequality; A Structural Framework for Policy," IMF Working Papers 15/22, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Era Dabla-Norris & Yan Ji & Robert M. Townsend & D. Filiz Unsal, 2015. "Distinguishing Constraints on Financial Inclusion and Their Impact on GDP, TFP, and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 20821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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