Financial Intermediation with Heterogeneous Projects: An Application to the Japanese Credit Crunch
Japan has gone through a long period of stagnation in the 1990s. We use a model of financial intermediation and endogenous occupational choice to understand this stagnation. In this model, investment projects are partly financed by loans and banks screen candidates by looking at their wealth. Due to various idiosyncratic risks, total wealth is heterogeneous across households. Calibrating the model to Japan, we conclude that the successive lowering of interest rates by the Bank of Japan was doomed to be ineffective, and that cash injections into the banking sector have little impact. Modifications to the regulation of the lending practices are, however, very potent in getting the country out of a credit crunch. Le Japon a vécu une période prolongée de stagnation durant les années 1990. Nous étudions cette stagnation au moyen d'un modèle d'intermediation financière avec choix occupationnel. Dans ce modèle, les projets d'investissement nécessitent un financement externe et les banques sélectionnent les candidats en fonction de leur fortune. En raison de divers risques individuels, la fortune totale est hétérogène à travers la population. Étalonné au Japon, ce modèle nous permet de conclure que les réductions successives des taux d'intérêt ne pouvaient pas être efficaces et que les injections d'argent frais dans le système bancaire ont peu d'impact. Modifier la réglementation des pratiques de prêt est par contre une politique très efficace pour sortir le pays d'un rationnement excessif du crédit.
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