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Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility

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  • Cristina Arellano
  • Yan Bai
  • Patrick J. Kehoe

Abstract

During the recent U.S. financial crisis, the large decline in aggregate output and labor was accompanied by both a tightening of financial conditions and a large increase in the dispersion of growth rates across firms. The tightened financial conditions manifested themselves as increases in firms' credit spreads and decreases in both equity payouts and debt purchases. These features motivate us to build a model in which increased volatility of firm level productivity shocks generates a downturn and worsened credit conditions. The key idea in the model is that hiring inputs is risky because financial frictions limit firms' ability to insure against shocks. Hence, an increase in idiosyncratic volatility induces firms to reduce their inputs to reduce such risk. We find that our model can generate most of the decline in output and labor in the Great Recession of 2007–2009 and the observed tightening of financial conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2016. "Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility," NBER Working Papers 22990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22990
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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