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Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Shocks

  • Urban Jermann
  • Vincenzo Quadrini

In this paper we document the cyclical properties of U.S. firms' financial flows. Equity payouts are procyclical and debt payouts are countercyclical. We develop a model with explicit roles for debt and equity financing and explore how the observed dynamics of real and financial variables are affected by `financial shocks', that is, shocks that affect the firms' capacity to borrow. Standard productivity shocks can only partially explain the movements in real and financial variables. The addition of financial shocks brings the model much closer to the data. The recent events in the financial sector show up clearly in our model as a tightening of firms' financing conditions causing the GDP decline in 2008-09. Our analysis also suggests that the downturns in 1990-91 and 2001 were strongly influenced by changes in credit conditions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15338.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Urban Jermann & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2012. "Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 238-71, February.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15338
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  1. Benk, Szilárd & Gillman, Max & Kejak, Michal, 2005. "Credit Shocks in the Financial Deregulatory Era: Not the Usual Suspects," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2005/13, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  2. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Smith, Katherine A., 2006. "Quantitative implications of a debt-deflation theory of Sudden Stops and asset prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 82-114, September.
  3. Michael R. Roberts & Mark T. Leary, 2004. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 52, Econometric Society.
  4. Hansen, Robert S & Torregrosa, Paul, 1992. " Underwriter Compensation and Corporate Monitoring," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1537-55, September.
  5. Altinkilic, Oya & Hansen, Robert S, 2000. "Are There Economies of Scale in Underwriting Fees? Evidence of Rising External Financing Costs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 191-218.
  6. Christopher Hennessy & Toni Whited, 2004. "Debt Dynamics," 2004 Meeting Papers 592, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2000. "The Equity Share in New Issues and Aggregate Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2219-2257, October.
  8. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  9. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," NBER Working Papers 6455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Choe, Hyuk & Masulis, Ronald W. & Nanda, Vikram, 1993. "Common stock offerings across the business cycle : Theory and evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-31, June.
  11. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2009. "Unmeasured investment and the puzzling U.S. boom in the 1990s," Staff Report 369, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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