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Managing Credit Booms and Busts: A Pigouvian Taxation Approach

  • Olivier Jeanne
  • Anton Korinek

We study a dynamic model in which the interaction between debt accumulation and asset prices magnifies credit booms and busts. We find that borrowers do not internalize these feedback effects and therefore suffer from excessively large booms and busts in both credit flows and asset prices. We show that a Pigouvian tax on borrowing may induce borrowers to internalize these externalities and increase welfare. We calibrate the model by reference to (i) the US small and medium-sized enterprise sector and (ii) the household sector, and find the optimal tax to be countercyclical in both cases, dropping to zero in busts and rising to approximately half a percentage point of the amount of debt outstanding during booms.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16377.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16377
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  1. Christopher D. Carroll, 2009. "Theoretical Foundations of Buffer Stock Saving," 2009 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Enrique G. Mendoza & Katherine A. Smith, 2004. "Quantitative Implication of A Debt-Deflation Theory of Sudden Stops and Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 10940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Olivier Jeanne & Anton Korinek, 2010. "Excessive Volatility in Capital Flows: A Pigouvian Taxation Approach," Working Paper Series WP10-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll, 2005. "The Method of Endogenous Gridpoints for Solving Dynamic Stochastic Optimization Problems," NBER Technical Working Papers 0309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
  6. Korinek, Anton, 2011. "Systemic risk-taking: amplification effects, externalities, and regulatory responses," Working Paper Series 1345, European Central Bank.
  7. Jermann, Urban & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2009. "Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7451, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Karl Friedrich Habermeier & Marcos Chamon & Mahvash Saeed Qureshi & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt, 2010. "Capital Inflows: The Role of Controls," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Javier Bianchi, 2010. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," 2010 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2005. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and the Price of Nontradables in Sudden-Stop-Prone Economies," NBER Working Papers 11691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Javier Bianchi & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Overborrowing, Financial Crises and 'Macro-prudential' Taxes," NBER Working Papers 16091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Guido Lorenzoni, 2008. "Inefficient Credit Booms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 809-833.
  13. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  14. Anton Korinek, 2009. "Systemic Risk: Amplification Effects, Externalities, and Policy Responses," Working Papers 155, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  15. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2005. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and the Price of Nontradable Goods in Economies Prone to Sudden Stops," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, August.
  16. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 1996. "Agency costs, net worth, and business fluctuations: a computable general equilibrium analysis," Working Paper 9602, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  17. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:3:p:809-833 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2003. "Excessive Dollar Debt: Financial Development and Underinsurance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 867-894, 04.
  19. Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
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