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The Magnitude and Cyclical Behavior of Financial Market Frictions

  • Andrew T. Levin
  • Fabio M. Natalucci

We analyze a new panel data set that includes balance sheet information, measures of expected default risk, and credit spreads on publicly-traded debt for more than 900 firms over the period 1997Q1 through 2003Q3. We obtain precise time-specific estimates of the financial frictions parameter underlying the benchmark financial accelerator model of Bernanke, Gertler, and Gilchrist (1999) and clearly reject the null hypothesis of no credit market imperfections; furthermore, for the expansionary period through mid-2000, these estimates are quite similar to the calibrated values used in previous research. Finally, we find that financial market frictions exhibit strong cyclical pattern, with parameter estimates rising by a factor of two during the latest economic downturn before returning to pre-recession levels in 2003.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 443.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:443
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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