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Interest Rate Dynamics, Variable-Rate Loans, and the Business Cycle

Author

Listed:
  • Yi Wen

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Xiaochuan Xing

    (Tsinghua University)

  • Patrick Pintus

    (Banque de France)

Abstract

The interest rate at which US firms borrow funds has two features: (i) it moves in a countercyclical fashion and (ii) it is an inverted leading indicator of real economic activity: low interest rates forecast booms in GDP, consumption, investment, and employment. We show that a Kiyotaki-Moore model accounts for both properties when business-cycle movements are driven, in a significant way, by animal spirit shocks to credit-financed investment demand. The credit-based nature of such self-fulfilling equilibria is shown to be essential: the dynamic correlation between current loanable funds rate and future aggregate economic activity depends critically on the property that the loan has a variable-rate component. In addition, Bayesian estimation of our benchmark DSGE model on US data 1975-2010 shows that movements in investment driven by animal spirits are quantitatively important and result in a better fit to the data than both standard RBC models and Kiyotaki-Moore type models with unique equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Yi Wen & Xiaochuan Xing & Patrick Pintus, 2016. "Interest Rate Dynamics, Variable-Rate Loans, and the Business Cycle," 2016 Meeting Papers 293, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:293
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    References listed on IDEAS

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