IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Agency costs and asymmetric information in a small open economy: a dynamic general equilibrium model


  • Kunhong Kim
  • Iris Claus


This paper assesses the effects of agency costs and asymmetric information in credit markets. Asymmetric information and agency costs occur whenever lenders delegate control over resources to borrowers, leading to adverse selection, moral hazard and monitoring costs because of the inability to monitor borrowers costlessly. Financial intermediaries can help overcome this imperfect information, leading to a more efficient allocation of resources. Macroeconomic models currently used by policy makers generally disregard credit market conditions. The basis of the analysis follows Carlstrom and Fuerst (1997). The model is extended to an open economy with a floating exchange rate and slowly adjusting goods prices. Moreover, a government and an inflation targeting monetary authority are introduced. The foreign sector is incorporated following McCallum and Nelson (1999). Firms use imported commodity inputs to produce output. They sell the output to domestic and foreign consumers and exports are a function of the real exchange rate and foreign demand. Incorporating a foreign sector has at least two implications. First, an open economy faces the possibility of shocks that originate from the rest of the world. Second, with a floating exchange rate, movements in the relative price of currencies affect the supply and demand of products and factors of production. The framework of the analysis is a dynamic general equilibrium model with microeconomic foundations, where agents’ decisions are derived from optimising behaviour. The model is calibrated for New Zealand. The steady states with and without agency costs are derived and the effects of these costs on business cycle fluctuations are assessed. A decline in the information asymmetry between borrowers and lenders leads to lower agency costs and an increase in the long-run level of steady state capital, investment and output. The presence of agency costs also affects the business cycle and the monetary authority’s response to shocks in the economy. Moreover, the exchange rate is subject to larger cyclical swings in the presence of agency costs, leading to additional substitution effects as imports are a production input. One of the key results in Carlstrom and Fuerst (1997), a hump shaped response of output and investment to a productivity shock, still prevails in the small open economy set-up. The diffrerences in the adjustment paths of the model with and without agency costs following a shock to the economy provide evidence of quantitatively important effects of agency costs and information asymmetries. The finding suggests that macroeconomic models that do not explicitly account for asymmetric information in credit markets provide an incomplete description of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kunhong Kim & Iris Claus, 2004. "Agency costs and asymmetric information in a small open economy: a dynamic general equilibrium model," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 787, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:787

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Iris Claus, 2007. "The Effects of Bank Lending in an Open Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1213-1243, August.
    2. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 2000. "Monetary Policy for an Open Economy: An Alternative Framework with Optimizing Agents and Sticky Prices," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 74-91, Winter.
    3. Fisher, Jonas D M, 1999. "Credit Market Imperfections and the Heterogeneous Response of Firms to Monetary Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 187-211, May.
    4. Harald Uhlig, 1995. "A toolkit for analyzing nonlinear dynamic stochastic models easily," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 101, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Fuerst, Timothy S, 1995. "Monetary and Financial Interactions in the Business Cycle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1321-1338, November.
    6. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Bart Turtelboom & Peter Isard & Eswar S Prasad, 1998. "Multimod Mark III; The Core Dynamic and Steady State Model," IMF Occasional Papers 164, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Flint Brayton & Peter A. Tinsley, 1996. "A guide to FRB/US: a macroeconomic model of the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    9. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
    10. Edwards, Sebastian & Vegh, Carlos A., 1997. "Banks and macroeconomic disturbances under predetermined exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 239-278, October.
    11. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
    12. Lane, Philip R., 2001. "The new open economy macroeconomics: a survey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 235-266, August.
    13. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-660, June.
    14. Williamson, Stephen D., 1986. "Costly monitoring, financial intermediation, and equilibrium credit rationing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-179, September.
    15. Carlstrom, Charles T. & Fuerst, Timothy S., 2001. "Monetary shocks, agency costs, and business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-27, June.
    16. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1995. "A toolkit for analyzing nonlinear dynamic stochastic models easily," Discussion Paper 1995-97, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "Symposium on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 3-10, Fall.
    18. Angela Huang & Dimitri Margaritis & David Mayes, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Evidence from New Zealand," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 175-200, September.
    19. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    20. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    21. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    open economy; agency costs; asymmetric information; dynamic general equlibrium analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:787. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.