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Distinguishing limited commitment from moral hazard in models of growth with inequality

  • Anna L. Paulson
  • Robert M. Townsend

We use non-parametric, reduced form and structural techniques to distin-guish the micro-economic foundations of two models of growth with increasing inequality using new data from rural and semi-urban households in Thailand. We estimate a limited commitment model that is similar to Evans and Jovanovic (1989) and a moral hazard model that is an extension of Aghion and Bolton (1996). Both models emphasize the role of occupational choice and financial constraints. While the models share many implications, they are distinguished by their assumptions about the nature of financial market imperfections. We provide structural and reduced form evidence that the dominant source of credit market imperfections varies with wealth. For poorer households limited commit-ment is the dominant concern. However, as wealth increases moral hazard gains importance. These findings provide a rationale for important characteristics of the financial environment in Thailand.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-03-06.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-03-06
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  1. Jean Pinquet & Pierre-André Chiappori & Jaap Abbring & James J Heckman, 2003. "Adverse selection and moral hazard in insurance: can dynamic data help to distinguish?," Post-Print hal-00397115, HAL.
  2. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1994. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," NBER Working Papers 4921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Magnac, Thierry & Robin, Jean-Marc, 1996. "Occupational choice and liquidity constraints," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 105-133, June.
  4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
  5. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  6. Christopher Phelan & Robert M Townsend, 2010. "Computing Multi-Period, Information Constrained Optima," Levine's Working Paper Archive 117, David K. Levine.
  7. Piketty, Thomas, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 173-89, April.
  8. Andreas Lehnert, 1998. "Asset pooling, credit rationing, and growth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Gine, Xavier & Townsend, Robert M., 2004. "Evaluation of financial liberalization: a general equilibrium model with constrained occupation choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 269-307, August.
  10. Christian Ahlin & Robert Townsend, 2002. "Using Repayment Data to Test Across Models of Joint Liability Lending," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0227, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  11. Francisco Buera, 2009. "A dynamic model of entrepreneurship with borrowing constraints: theory and evidence," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 443-464, June.
  12. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  13. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1993. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Working Papers 698, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  15. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. repec:adr:anecst:y:1994:i:34:p:02 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Alexander Karaivanov, 2003. "Financial Contracts and Occupational Choice," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 25, Society for Computational Economics.
  18. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  19. Paulson, Anna L. & Townsend, Robert, 2004. "Entrepreneurship and financial constraints in Thailand," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 229-262, March.
  20. Lloyd-Ellis, Huw & Bernhardt, Dan, 2000. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 147-68, January.
  21. Robert M. Townsend & Jacob Yaron, 2001. "The credit risk-contingency system of an Asian development bank," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 31-48.
  22. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
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