IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bank Finance Versus Bond Finance


  • Fiorella De Fiore
  • Harald Uhlig


We present a dynamic general equilibrium model with agency costs where: i) firms are heterogeneous in the risk of default; ii) they can choose to raise finance through bank loans or corporate bonds; and iii) banks are more efficient than the market in resolving informational problems. The model is used to analyze some major long-run differences in corporate finance between the US and the euro area. We suggest an explanation of those differences based on information availability. Our model replicates the data when the euro area is characterized by limited availability of public information about corporate credit risk relative to the US, and when european firms value more than US firms the flexibility and information acquisition role provided by banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Fiorella De Fiore & Harald Uhlig, 2011. "Bank Finance Versus Bond Finance," NBER Working Papers 16979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16979
    Note: EFG CF ME

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williamson, Oliver, 2009. "The Theory of the Firm as Governance Structure: From Choice to Contract," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 111-134, December.
    2. Emery, Kenneth M. & Cantor, Richard, 2005. "Relative default rates on corporate loans and bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1575-1584, June.
    3. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Debt covenants and renegotiation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 95-133, June.
    4. Gilchrist, Simon & Yankov, Vladimir & Zakrajsek, Egon, 2009. "Credit market shocks and economic fluctuations: Evidence from corporate bond and stock markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 471-493, May.
    5. Chemmanur, Thomas J & Fulghieri, Paolo, 1994. "Reputation, Renegotiation, and the Choice between Bank Loans and Publicly Traded Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(3), pages 475-506.
    6. 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.
    7. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
    8. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    9. Denis, David J. & Mihov, Vassil T., 2003. "The choice among bank debt, non-bank private debt, and public debt: evidence from new corporate borrowings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 3-28, October.
    10. Söhnke M. Bartram & Gregory Brown & René M. Stulz, 2009. "Why Do Foreign Firms Have Less Idiosyncratic Risk than U.S. Firms?," NBER Working Papers 14931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Timothy S. Fuerst & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1998. "Agency costs and business cycles," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 12(3), pages 583-597.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16979. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.