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Liquidity provision during a pandemic


  • Wagner, Wolf
  • Kahn, Charles M.


We examine how public liquidity should be distributed to firms when immediate production entails externalities, such as by spreading a virus. Direct provision of liquidity can address externalities, but traditional distribution of liquidity (through banks) has informational advantages. We show that which mode is preferred is determined by the variance (but not the level) of firm characteristics in the economy. Traditional provision is always part of the optimal policy when liquidity modes can be combined, and involves promising low interest rates for when the pandemic is over in order to incentivize temporary production shutdowns at firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Wolf & Kahn, Charles M., 2020. "Liquidity provision during a pandemic," CEPR Discussion Papers 14701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14701

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic policy > Business support
    2. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Finance and credit


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    Cited by:

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    2. W. Blake Marsh & Padma Sharma, 2021. "Government Loan Guarantees during a Crisis: The Effect of the PPP on Bank Lending and Profitability," Research Working Paper RWP 21-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Didier, Tatiana & Huneeus, Federico & Larrain, Mauricio & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2021. "Financing firms in hibernation during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).
    4. Goodhart, C. A. E. & Masciandaro, Donato & Ugolini, Stefano, 2021. "Pandemic recession, helicopter money and central banking: Venice, 1630," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108555, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Cristina Demma & Giovanni Ferri & Andrea Orame & Valerio Pesic & Valerio Vacca, 2024. "Banks' operational resilience during pandemics," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 833, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Bonfim, Diana & Custódio, Cláudia & Raposo, Clara, 2023. "Supporting small firms through recessions and recoveries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 658-688.
    7. Andrea Bellucci & Gianluca Gucciardi, 2023. "A Turning Point for Banking: Unravelling the Changing Landscape of Banking Activity in Europe since the COVID-19 pandemic," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 183, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    8. Diana Bonfim & Cláudia Custódio, 2021. "The sensitivity of SME’s investment and employment to the cost of debt financing," Working Papers w202115, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    9. Galina Hale & John Leer & Fernanda Nechio, 2022. "Inflationary Effects of Fiscal Support to Households and Firms," Working Paper Series 2023-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    10. Lo, Andrew W. & Thakor, Richard T., 2023. "Financial intermediation and the funding of biomedical innovation: A review," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    11. Charlie Tchinda & Marcus Dejardin, 2021. "Are Business Policy Measures in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic to Be Equally Valued? An Exploration According to SMEs Owners’ Business Expectations," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-42, October.
    12. Masciandaro, Donato & Goodhart, Charles & Ugolini, Stefano, 2021. "Pandemic recession and helicopter money: Venice, 1629–1631," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 300-318, December.
    13. Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad & Phoumin, Han & Rasoulinezhad, Ehsan, 2022. "COVID-19 and regional solutions for mitigating the risk of SME finance in selected ASEAN member states," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 506-525.
    14. Felipe Garcés & Juan Francisco Martínez & M. Udara Peiris & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2023. "Financial and real effects of pandemic credit policies: an application to Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 990, Central Bank of Chile.
    15. Iyke, Bernard Njindan & Maheepala, M.M.J.D., 2022. "Conventional monetary policy, COVID-19, and stock markets in emerging economies," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

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    More about this item


    Public liquidity; Banks; Covid-10; Mothballing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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