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Real Effects of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Is it a Demand or a Finance Shock?

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  • Hui Tong
  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

We develop a methodology to study whether and how a financial-sector crisis can spill over to the real economy, and apply it to the case of the ongoing subprime mortgage crisis. If there is a spillover, does it manifest itself primarily by reducing consumer confidence and consumer demand? Is there also a supply-side channel through a tightened liquidity constraint faced by non-financial firms? Since most firms appear to have much larger cash holdings than in the past, some suggest that a liquidity constraint is not likely to be a significant factor for non-financial firms. We propose a methodology to estimate the importance of these two channels for spillovers. We first propose an index of a firm's sensitivity to a shock to consumer confidence, based on its response to the 9/11 shock in 2001. We then construct a separate firm-level index on financial constraint based on Whited and Wu (2006). As a robustness check, we also construct an alternative sector-level index of a firm's intrinsic demand for external finance, based on the work of Rajan and Zingales (1998). We find robust evidence suggesting that both channels are at work, but that a tightened liquidity squeeze appears to be economically more important than reduced consumer confidence or spending in explaining cross-firm differences in stock price declines.

Suggested Citation

  • Hui Tong & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "Real Effects of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Is it a Demand or a Finance Shock?," NBER Working Papers 14205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. De La Motte, Laura & Czernomoriez, Janna & Clemens, Marius, 2010. "Zur Vertrauensökonomik: Der Interbankenmarkt in der Krise von 2007-2009
      [Economics of trust: The interbank market during the crisis 2007-2009]
      ," MPRA Paper 20357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Orlowski, Lucjan T, 2008. "Stages of the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis: Is There a Wandering Asset-Price Bubble?," MPRA Paper 12696, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2012. "Capital flows, push versus pull factors and the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 341-356.
    4. Claessens, Stijn & Tong, Hui & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2012. "From the financial crisis to the real economy: Using firm-level data to identify transmission channels," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 375-387.
    5. Nguyen, Ha & Qian, Rong, 2014. "Demand collapse or credit crunch to firms? Evidence from the World Bank's financial crisis survey in Eastern Europe," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 125-144.
    6. Hui Tong & Shang-Jin Wei, 2011. "The Composition Matters: Capital Inflows and Liquidity Crunch During a Global Economic Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2023-2052.
    7. Hui, Eddie C.M. & Zheng, Xian & Wang, Hui, 2010. "A dynamic mathematical test of international property securities bubbles and crashes," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(7), pages 1445-1454.
    8. Grancay, Martin, 2008. "Hypotekarna a financna kriza 2008: Priciny, opatrenia, dosledky
      [The mortgage and financial crisis of 2008: Causes, measures taken, impacts]
      ," MPRA Paper 16489, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Aisyah Rahman, 2010. "Financing structure and insolvency risk exposure of Islamic banks," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 24(4), pages 419-440, December.
    10. Lucjan T. Orlowski, 2008. "Stages of the Ongoing Global Financial Crisis: Is There a Wandering Asset-Price Bubble?," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0372, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    11. Alfranseder, Emanuel & Dzhamalova, Valeriia, 2014. "The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Innovation and Growth: Evidence from Technology Research and Development," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2014/8, Lund University, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies.
    12. Fratzscher, Marcel & Chudik, Alexander, 2012. "Liquidity, risk and the global transmission of the 2007-08 financial crisis and the 2010-2011 sovereign debt crisis," Working Paper Series 1416, European Central Bank.
    13. Felicia Ramona Birau, 2012. "Financial Derivatives - Meanings Beyond Subprime Crisis Stigma," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 195-199, December.
    14. Akbar, Saeed & Rehman, Shafiq ur & Ormrod, Phillip, 2013. "The impact of recent financial shocks on the financing and investment policies of UK private firms," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 59-70.
    15. Alfranseder, Emanuel, 2015. "Does the financial crisis affect distressed or constrained firms more heavily?," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2015/4, Lund University, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies.
    16. Garcia-Appendini, Emilia & Montoriol-Garriga, Judit, 2013. "Firms as liquidity providers: Evidence from the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 272-291.
    17. Chudik, Alexander & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2010. "Identifying the Global Transmission of the 2007-09 Financial Crisis in a GVAR Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 8093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Duchin, Ran & Ozbas, Oguzhan & Sensoy, Berk A., 2010. "Costly external finance, corporate investment, and the subprime mortgage credit crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 418-435, September.
    19. Alexander Chudik & Marcel Fratzscher, 2012. "Liquidity, risk and the global transmission of the 2007–08 financial crisis and the 2010–11 sovereign debt crisis title," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    20. Tu Nguyen & H.G. (Lily) Nguyen & Xiangkang Yin, 2015. "Corporate Governance and Corporate Financing and Investment during the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 115-146, March.
    21. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2008. "Stages of the Ongoing Global Financial Crisis: Is There a Wandering Asset Bubble?," IWH Discussion Papers 11/2008, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

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    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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