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The Real Effects of Liquidity During the Financial Crisis: Evidence from Automobiles

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  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Ralf R. Meisenzahl
  • Rodney Ramcharan

Abstract

Illiquidity in short-term credit markets during the financial crisis might have severely curtailed the supply of non-bank consumer credit. Using a new data set linking every car sold in the United States to the credit supplier involved in each transaction, we find that the collapse of the asset-backed commercial paper market reduced the financing capacity of such non-bank lenders as captive leasing companies in the automobile industry. As a result, car sales in counties that traditionally depended on non-bank lenders declined sharply. Although other lenders increased their supply of credit, the net aggregate effect of illiquidity on car sales is large and negative. We conclude that the decline in auto sales during the financial crisis was caused in part by a credit supply shock driven by the illiquidity of the most important providers of consumer finance in the auto loan market. These results also imply that interventions aimed at arresting illiquidity in short-term credit markets might have helped to contain the real effects of the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Efraim Benmelech & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Rodney Ramcharan, 2016. "The Real Effects of Liquidity During the Financial Crisis: Evidence from Automobiles," NBER Working Papers 22148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22148
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    Cited by:

    1. David Elliott & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & José-Luis Peydró & B.C. Turner, 2019. "Nonbanks, banks, and monetary policy: U.S. loan-level evidence since the 1990s," Economics Working Papers 1679, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2020.
    2. Stijn Claessens & M Ayhan Kose, 2018. "Frontiers of macrofinancial linkages," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 95, 12-2019.
    3. Scott R. Baker & Lorenz Kueng & Leslie McGranahan & Brian T. Melzer, 2019. "Do Household Finances Constrain Unconventional Fiscal Policy?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-32.
    4. Stefania P.S. Rossi & Graziella Bonanno & Marco Giansoldati & Tullio Gregori, 2018. "Are Venture Capital SMEs more likely to start exporting?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(3), pages 1613-1622.
    5. Foley-Fisher, Nathan & Ramcharan, Rodney & Yu, Edison, 2016. "The impact of unconventional monetary policy on firm financing constraints: Evidence from the maturity extension program," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 409-429.
    6. Ben S. Bernanke, 2018. "The Real Effects of Disrupted Credit: Evidence from the Global Financial Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(2 (Fall)), pages 251-342.
    7. Biswas, Swarnava (Sonny) & Gómez, Fabiana & Zhai, Wei, 2017. "Who needs big banks? The real effects of bank size on outcomes of large US borrowers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 170-185.
    8. Bo Becker & Marieke Bos & Kasper Roszbach, 2020. "Bad Times, Good Credit," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(S1), pages 107-142, October.
    9. Stefan Gissler & Rodney Ramcharan & Edison Yu, 2018. "The Effects of Competition in Consumer Credit Markets," Working Papers 18-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    10. Doremus, Jacqueline & Helfand, Gloria & Liu, Changzheng & Donahue, Marie & Kahan, Ari & Shelby, Michael, 2019. "Simpler is better: Predicting consumer vehicle purchases in the short run," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1404-1415.
    11. Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru, 2018. "Debt Relief and Slow Recovery: A Decade after Lehman," NBER Working Papers 25403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Stephan Luck & Thomas Zimmermann, 2018. "Employment Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy : Evidence from QE," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-071, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Jesse Bricker & Kevin B. Moore & Jeffrey P. Thompson, 2019. "Trends in household portfolio composition," Working Papers 19-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    14. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:49:y:2019:i:2018-01:p:429-513 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lorena Keller, 2018. "Prudential Capital Controls and Risk Misallocation: Bank Lending Channel," 2018 Meeting Papers 129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Daniel Green & Brian T. Melzer & Jonathan A. Parker & Arcenis Rojas, 2020. "Accelerator or Brake? Cash for Clunkers, Household Liquidity, and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 178-211, November.
    17. Bronson Argyle & Taylor D. Nadauld & Christopher Palmer, 2020. "Real Effects of Search Frictions in Consumer Credit Markets," NBER Working Papers 26645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Luck, Stephan & Zimmermann, Tom, 2020. "Employment effects of unconventional monetary policy: Evidence from QE," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(3), pages 678-703.
    19. Wang, Zhiqiang & Wang, Qiang & Lai, Yin & Liang, Chaojie, 2020. "Drivers and outcomes of supply chain finance adoption: An empirical investigation in China," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 220(C).
    20. Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru, 2018. "Mortgage Market Design: Lessons from the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(1 (Spring), pages 429-513.
    21. Berger, Allen N. & Molyneux, Phil & Wilson, John O.S., 2020. "Banks and the real economy: An assessment of the research," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    22. Bill Dupor & Rong Li & M. Saif Mehkari & Yi-Chan Tsai, 2018. "The 2008 U.S. Auto Market Collapse," Working Papers 2018-19, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    23. J. Anthony Cookson & Erik P. Gilje & Rawley Z. Heimer, 2020. "Shale Shocked: Cash Windfalls and Household Debt Repayment," NBER Working Papers 27782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Daniel Fehrle & Johannes Huber, 2020. "Business cycle accounting for the German fiscal stimulus program during the Great Recession," Discussion Paper Series 339, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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