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On borrowing limits and welfare

  • Francesc Obiols-Homs
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    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.

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    File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/401.pdf
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    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 401.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:401
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    1. Julio Davila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José-Victor Rios Rull, 2005. "Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00196183, HAL.
    2. Sangeeta Pratap & Silvio Rendon, 2003. "Firm Investment in Imperfect Capital Markets: A Structural Estimation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 513-545, July.
    3. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    4. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
    5. Athreya, Kartik B., 2002. "Welfare implications of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1567-1595, November.
    6. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," Discussion Papers 04-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    7. Huggett, Mark, 1997. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks: Steady states and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 385-403, August.
    8. Eva Carceles Poveda & Arpad Abraham, 2004. "Endogenous Trading Constraints with Incomplete Asset Markets," 2004 Meeting Papers 667, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Aggregate precautionary savings: when is the third derivative irrelevant?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 373-396, October.
    10. Ljungqvist, Lars, 1993. "Economic underdevelopment : The case of a missing market for human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-239, April.
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