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Volatility and Growth: Credit Constraints and Productivity-Enhancing Investment

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

Abstract

We examine how credit constraints affect the cyclical behavior of productivity-enhancing investment and thereby volatility and growth. We first develop a simple growth model where firms engage in two types of investment: a short-term one and a long-term productivity-enhancing one. Because it takes longer to complete, long-term investment has a relatively less procyclical return but also a higher liquidity risk. Under complete financial markets, long-term investment is countercyclical, thus mitigating volatility. But when firms face tight credit constraints, long-term investment turns procyclical, thus amplifying volatility. Tighter credit therefore leads to both higher aggregate volatility and lower mean growth for a given total investment rate. We next confront the model with a panel of countries over the period 1960-2000 and find that a lower degree of financial development predicts a higher sensitivity of both the composition of investment and mean growth to exogenous shocks, as well as a stronger negative effect of volatility on growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & George-Marios Angeletos & Abhijit Banerjee & Kalina Manova, 2005. "Volatility and Growth: Credit Constraints and Productivity-Enhancing Investment," NBER Working Papers 11349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11349
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    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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