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Volatility and growth: Credit constraints and the composition of investment

  • Aghion, Philippe
  • Angeletos, George-Marios
  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Manova, Kalina

This paper examines how uncertainty and credit constraints affect the cyclical composition of investment and thereby volatility and growth. We develop a model where ï¬rms engage in two types of investment: a short-term one; and a long-term one, which contributes more to productivity growth. Because it takes longer to complete, long-term investment has a relatively less cyclical return; but it also has a higher liquidity risk. The ï¬rst effect ensures that the share of long-term investment to total investment is countercyclical when ï¬nancial markets are perfect; the second implies that this share may turn procyclical when ï¬rms face tight credit constraints. The contribution of the paper is thus to identify a novel propagation mechanism: through its effect on the cyclical composition of investment, tighter credit can lead to both higher volatility and lower mean growth. Evidence from a panel of countries provides support for the model’s key predictions.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 12490636.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Monetary Economics
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:12490636
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