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Banks, Market Organization, and Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Analysis

  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Boris Gershman
  • Peter Howitt

This paper is an exploratory analysis of the role that banks play in supporting the mechanism of exchange. It considers a model economy in which exchange activities are facilitated and coordinated by a self-organizing network of entrepreneurial trading firms. Collectively, these firms play the part of the Walrasian auctioneer, matching buyers with sellers and helping the economy to approximate equilibrium prices that no individual is able to calculate. Banks affect macroeconomic performance in this economy because their lending activities facilitate entry of trading firms and also influence their exit decisions. Both entry and exit have conflicting effects on performance, and we resort to computational analysis to understand how they are resolved. Our analysis sheds new light on the conflict between micro-prudential bank regulation and macroeconomic stability. Specifically, it draws an important distinction between "normal" performance of the economy and "worst-case" scenarios, and shows that micro prudence conflicts with macro stability only in bad times. The analysis also shows that banks provide a "financial stabilizer" that in some respects can more than counteract the more familiar financial accelerator.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17102.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17102.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17102
Note: EFG
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  1. Quamrul Ashraf & Boris Gershman & Peter Howitt, 2011. "How Inflation Affects Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Investigation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-12, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Feb 2013.
  2. Jon Steinsson & Emi Nakamura, 2007. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multi-Sector Menu Cost Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 736, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. Raddatz, Claudio, 2006. "Liquidity needs and vulnerability to financial underdevelopment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 677-722, June.
  15. Amano, Robert & Moran, Kevin & Murchison, Stephen & Rennison, Andrew, 2009. "Trend inflation, wage and price rigidities, and productivity growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 353-364, April.
  16. Steven N. Durlauf & Louis J. Maccini, 1993. "Measuring Noise in Inventory Models," NBER Working Papers 4487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Christophe Deissenberg & Sander Van Der Hoog & Herbert Dawid, 2008. "EURACE: A Massively Parallel Agent-Based Model of the European Economy," Working Papers halshs-00339756, HAL.
  18. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
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