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Inflation, Liquidity Risk and Long-run TFP - Growth

  • Evers, Michael
  • Niemann, Stefan
  • Schiffbauer, Marc


This paper demonstrates a negative relation between inflation and long-run productivity growth. Inflation generates long-run real effects due to a link from the short-run nominal and financial frictions to a firm's qualitative investment portfolio. We develop an endogenous growth model whose key ingredients are (i) a nominal short-run portfolio choice for households, (ii) an agency problem which gives rise to financial market incompleteness, (iii) a firm-level technology choice between a return-dominated but secure and a more productive but risky project. In this framework, inflation increases the costs of corporate insurance against productive but risky projects and hence a firm's choice of technology. It follows that each level of inflation is associated with a different long-run balanced growth path for the economy as long as financial markets are incomplete. Finally, we apply U.S. industry and firm level data to examine the relevance of our specific microeconomic mechanism. We find that (i) firms insure systematically against risky R&D investments by means of corporate liquidity holdings, (ii) periods of higher inflation restrain firm-level R&D investments by reducing corporate liquidity holdings.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number DYNREG48.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:dynreg48
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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 1999. "Financial intermediation and growth : Causality and causes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2059, The World Bank.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-51, August.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  5. Opler, Tim & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, Rene & Williamson, Rohan, 1999. "The determinants and implications of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-46, April.
  6. Jess Benhabib & Mark M. Spiegel, 2002. "Human capital and technology diffusion," Working Paper Series 2003-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Miklos Koren & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "Volatility and Development," CEP Discussion Papers dp0706, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  9. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
  11. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, December.
  12. Stanley Fischer, 1993. "The Role of Macroeconomic Factors in Growth," NBER Working Papers 4565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 2006. "Small and medium-size enterprises: Access to finance as a growth constraint," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2931-2943, November.
  14. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  16. Cukierman, Alex & Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Summers, Lawrence H. & Webb, Steven B., 1993. "Central bank independence, growth, investment, and real rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 95-140, December.
  17. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Chapters, in: Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870, pages 1-23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. De Gregorio, Jose, 1993. "Inflation, taxation, and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 271-298, June.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  21. William Easterly, 2003. "National Policies and Economic Growth: A Reappraisal," Working Papers 27, Center for Global Development.
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