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Dynamic Adverse Selection: A Theory of Illiquidity, Fire Sales, and Flight to Quality

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  • Veronica Guerrieri
  • Robert Shimer

Abstract

We develop a dynamic equilibrium model of asset markets affected by adverse selection. There exists a unique equilibrium where better assets trade at higher prices but in less liquid markets. Sellers of high-quality assets can separate because they are more willing to accept a lower trading probability. As a result, the emergence of adverse selection generates a drop in liquidity. It may also lead to a decline in the price-dividend ratio--a fire sale--and a flight to quality. Subsidies to purchasing assets may be Pareto improving and can reverse the fire sale and flight to quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer, 2012. "Dynamic Adverse Selection: A Theory of Illiquidity, Fire Sales, and Flight to Quality," NBER Working Papers 17876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17876
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2008. "Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2195-2230, October.
    2. Briana Chang, 2011. "Adverse Selection and Liquidity Distortion in Decentralized Markets," Discussion Papers 1513, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    3. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2010. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1823-1862, November.
    4. Andrea L. Eisfeldt, 2004. "Endogenous Liquidity in Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 1-30, February.
    5. Briana Chang, 2011. "Adverse Selection and Liquidity Distortion in Decentralized Markets," 2011 Meeting Papers 157, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "Liquidity in Asset Markets With Search Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 403-426, March.
    7. Camargo, Braz & Lester, Benjamin, 2014. "Trading dynamics in decentralized markets with adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 534-568.
    8. V.V. Chari & Ali Shourideh & Ariel Zetlin-Jones, 2010. "Adverse Selection, Reputation and Sudden Collapses in Secondary Loan Markets," NBER Working Papers 16080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Thorsten V. Koeppl & Jonathan Chiu, 2010. "Market Freeze and Recovery: Trading Dynamics under Optimal Intervention by a Market-Maker-of-Last-Resort," 2010 Meeting Papers 78, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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