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Credit Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations in an Economy with Production Heterogeneity

  • Aubhik Khan
  • Julia K. Thomas

We study the cyclical implications of credit market imperfections in a calibrated dynamic, stochastic general equilibrium model wherein firms face persistent shocks to aggregate and individual productivity. In our model economy, optimal capital reallocation is distorted by two frictions: collateralized borrowing and partial capital irreversibility yielding (S,s) firm-level investment policies. In the presence of persistent heterogeneity in capital, debt and total factor productivity, the effects of a financial shock are amplified and propagated through large and long-lived disruptions to the distribution of capital that, in turn, imply large and persistent reductions in aggregate total factor productivity. We find that an unanticipated tightening in borrowing conditions can, on its own, generate a large recession far more persistent than the financial shock itself. This recession, and the subsequent recovery, is distinguished both quantitatively and qualitatively from that driven by exogenous shocks to total factor productivity.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17311.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2013. "Credit Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations in an Economy with Production Heterogeneity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1055 - 1107.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17311
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