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Liquidity, Default and Crashes: Endogenous Contracts in General Equilibrium

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Abstract

Introducing default and limited collateral into general equilibrium theory (GE) allows for a theory of endogenous contracts, including endogenous margin requirements on loans. This in turn allows GE to explain liquidity and liquidity crises in equilibrium. A formal definition of liquidity is presented. When new information raises the probability a fixed income asset may default, its drop in price may be much greater than its objective drop in value because the drop in value reduces the relative wealth of its natural buyers, who disproportiantely own the asset through leveraged purchases. When the information also shortens the horizon over which the asset might default, its price falls still further because the margin requirement for its purchase endogenously rises. There may be spillovers in which other assets also crash in price even though their probability of default did not change.

Suggested Citation

  • John Geanakoplos, 2001. "Liquidity, Default and Crashes: Endogenous Contracts in General Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1316R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1316r2 Note: CFP 1074.
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d13/d1316-r2.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211-211.
    2. Blume, L. E. & Bray, M. M. & Easley, D., 1982. "Introduction to the stability of rational expectations equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 313-317, April.
    3. Blume, Lawrence & Easley, David, 1992. "Evolution and market behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 9-40, October.
    4. D. Blackwell & L. Dubins, 2010. "Merging of Opinions with Increasing Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 565, David K. Levine.
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    Cited by:

    1. Magri, Silvia & Pico, Raffaella, 2011. "The rise of risk-based pricing of mortgage interest rates in Italy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1277-1290, May.
    2. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1427 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Edelberg, Wendy, 2006. "Risk-based pricing of interest rates for consumer loans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2283-2298, November.
    4. Filippo Taddei, 2007. "Equity Premium: Interaction of Belief Heterogeneity and Distribution of Wealth?," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 67, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Liquidity; default; collateral; crashes; general equilibrium; contracts; spillover; liquidity premium;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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