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Diagnostic Expectations and Credit Cycles

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  • Pedro Bordalo
  • Nicola Gennaioli
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We present a model of credit cycles arising from diagnostic expectations – a belief formation mechanism based on Kahneman and Tversky’s (1972) representativeness heuristic. In this formulation, when forming their beliefs agents overweight future outcomes that have become more likely in light of incoming data. The model reconciles extrapolation and neglect of risk in a unified framework. Diagnostic expectations are forward looking, and as such are immune to the Lucas critique and nest rational expectations as a special case. In our model of credit cycles, credit spreads are excessively volatile, over-react to news, and are subject to predictable reversals. These dynamics can account for several features of credit cycles and macroeconomic volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2016. "Diagnostic Expectations and Credit Cycles," NBER Working Papers 22266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22266
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2013. "A Model of Shadow Banking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(4), pages 1331-1363, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Atif Mian, 2016. "Comment on "Macrofinancial History and the New Business Cycle Facts"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2016, Volume 31, pages 274-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Rupal Kamdar, 2017. "The Formation of Expectations, Inflation and the Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 23304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. De Santis, Roberto A., 2016. "Credit spreads, economic activity and fragmentation," Working Paper Series 1930, European Central Bank.
    4. Lopez-Salido, J. David & Stein, Jeremy C. & Zakrajsek, Egon, 2015. "Credit-Market Sentiment and the Business Cycle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 30 Dec 2016.
    5. João F. Gomes & Marco Grotteria & Jessica A. Wachter, 2017. "Cyclical Dispersion in Expected Defaults," NBER Working Papers 23704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Baghestanian, Sascha & Massenot, Baptiste, 2016. "Credit cycles: Experimental evidence," SAFE Working Paper Series 104 [rev.], Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    7. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1427 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Xavier Gabaix, 2017. "Behavioral Inattention," NBER Working Papers 24096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E03 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Macroeconomics
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles

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