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Leverage and Asset Prices: An Experiment

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  • Marco Cipriani
  • Ana Fostel
  • Daniel Houser

Abstract

We develop a model of leverage that is amenable to laboratory implementation and gather experimental data. We compare two identical economies: in one economy, agents cannot borrow; in the other, they can leverage a risky asset to issue debt. Leverage increases asset prices in the laboratory. This increase is significant and quantitatively close to what theory predicts. Moreover, also as theory suggests, leverage allows gains from trade to be realized in the laboratory. Finally, the mechanism generating the price increase in the lab is due to the asset role as collateral, and different from what we would observe with a simple credit line or bigger cash endowments.

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  • Marco Cipriani & Ana Fostel & Daniel Houser, 2020. "Leverage and Asset Prices: An Experiment," NBER Working Papers 26701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26701
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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