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Capital over the business cycle: renting versus ownership


  • Gal, Peter

    () (Tinbergen Institute and OECD)

  • Pinter, Gabor

    () (Bank of England)


We find that capital renting makes up one fifth of US capital expenditures, and it increases during downturns. Further, we present cross-country evidence that output losses after financial crises are smaller where renting is more prevalent. To understand these findings, we build a general equilibrium model with borrowing constraints and with the option to rent or buy capital. The countercyclicality of rentals occurs because their supply increases, as renting serves as an additional means of savings when credit markets malfunction. Moreover, demand also shifts towards rentals as they become relatively cheaper. By absorbing excess savings, renting mitigates financial crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Gal, Peter & Pinter, Gabor, 2013. "Capital over the business cycle: renting versus ownership," Bank of England working papers 478, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0478

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alessandro Gavazza, 2011. "Leasing and Secondary Markets: Theory and Evidence from Commercial Aircraft," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(2), pages 325-377.
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    5. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Adriano A. Rampini, 2009. "Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1621-1657, April.
    6. Zheng Liu & Pengfei Wang & Tao Zha, 2013. "Land‐Price Dynamics and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1147-1184, May.
    7. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Finkelstein-Shapiro & Andrés González Gómez, 2015. "Macroprudential Policy and Labor Market Dynamics in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88738, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan, 2014. "Self-employment and business cycle persistence: Does the composition of employment matter for economic recoveries?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 200-218.
    3. Alan Finkelstein Shapiro & Andres Gonzalez, 2015. "Macroprudential Policy and Labor Market Dynamics in Emerging Economies," IMF Working Papers 15/78, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    Renting; capital; business cycle; financial shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • 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
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • 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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