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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.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 478.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 16 Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0478
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  1. Caggese, Andrea, 2007. "Financing constraints, irreversibility, and investment dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2102-2130, October.
  2. Zheng Liu & Pengfei Wang & Tao Zha, 2011. "Land-price dynamics and macroeconomic fluctuations," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2011-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Andrea Eisfeldt & Adriano Rampini, 2006. "Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity," 2006 Meeting Papers 461, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Lewis, Craig M. & Schallheim, James S., 1992. "Are Debt and Leases Substitutes?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 497-511, December.
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  6. 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.
  7. Gavazza, Alessandro, 2010. "Asset liquidity and financial contracts: Evidence from aircraft leases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 62-84, January.
  8. Guido Lorenzoni & Karl Walentin, 2006. "Financial Frictions, Investment and Tobin's q," 2006 Meeting Papers 844, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. anonymous, 1998. "Credit unions: What's the fuss?," Financial Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Oct, pages 4.
  10. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  11. Gertler, Mark & Karadi, Peter, 2011. "A model of unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-34, January.
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