IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Production, Collateral and the Risk-Free Rate


  • Geoffrey Dunbar

    () (Simon Fraser University Simon Fraser University)


In this paper, I examine the implications of collateral constraints in a production economy and demonstrate that collateral constraints may have a role to play in resolving two outstanding puzzles: the risk-free rate puzzle and the total factor productivity puzzle. The first puzzle, as noted by Mehra and Prescott (1985), Weil (1989) and others is simply that it is difficult to obtain plausible values of the risk-free real interest rate in production economies without assuming implausibly high values of risk-aversion. This paper demonstrates that the risk-free real interest is related to idiosyncratic productivity risk through the collateral constraint and that a low risk-free real interest rate can be obtained for small, and plausible, values of risk-aversion. The second puzzle is more recent - namely why has the risk-free real interest rate fallen while measured total factor productivity has risen during the 1990's in the United States? The argument put forth here is that the level and persistence of idiosyncratic productivity risk is related to measured aggregate total factor productivity and the risk-free real interest rate via the collateral constraint. Hence, increases in aggregate total factor productivity that occur in conjunction with decreases in the risk-free real interest rate may simply reflect unanticipated increases in the level (or persistence) of idiosyncratic productivity risk

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Dunbar, 2006. "Production, Collateral and the Risk-Free Rate," 2006 Meeting Papers 448, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:448

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Collateral; Risk-Free Rate; Wealth Heterogeneity; TFP; Equity Premium;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed006:448. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.