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Long-Term Finance and Economic Development: The Role of Liquidity in Corporate Debt Markets


  • Julian Kozlowski

    (New York University)


What are the linkages between maturity of corporate debt, liquidity of financial markets and the real economy? Firms in developing countries borrow at shorter maturities and those assets are traded in less liquid markets, relative to advance economies. To understand these facts, this paper studies how firms choose and finance investment projects in a production economy subject to an over-the-counter trading friction in financial markets and a time-to-build constraint on investment. Long-term assets rely on the possibility of being traded in secondary markets. Hence, the credit spread due to liquidity increases with the maturity of the asset, which generates an upward sloping yield curve. As a result, an improvement in market liquidity flattens the yield curve and benefits long-term borrowing. On the other hand, investment choices depend on financial costs. The time-to-build constraint implies that in order to produce a more profitable firm, an entrepreneur needs borrowing for a longer period of time. Hence, when borrowing costs at longer horizons decline, firms invest in more profitable longer-term projects. To evaluate the quantitative importance of this mechanism, I calibrate the model to match the US corporate debt market. Counterfactual exercises show that the liquidity of the secondary market can account for variations in maturity choices of 30.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Kozlowski, 2017. "Long-Term Finance and Economic Development: The Role of Liquidity in Corporate Debt Markets," 2017 Meeting Papers 699, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:699

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Juan Sanchez & Rodolfo Manuelli, 2016. "Endogenous Debt Maturity: Liquidity Risk vs. Default Risk," 2016 Meeting Papers 1435, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Bruche, Max & Segura, Anatoli, 2017. "Debt maturity and the liquidity of secondary debt markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 599-613.
    3. World Bank, 2015. "Global Financial Development Report 2015/2016," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 22543, 06-2020.
    4. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1875-1891, September.
    5. Hui Chen & Yu Xu & Jun Yang, 2012. "Systematic Risk, Debt Maturity, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," NBER Working Papers 18367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Eduardo Borensztein & Kevin Cowan & Barry Eichengreen & Ugo Panizza (ed.), 2008. "Bond Markets in Latin America: On the Verge of a Big Bang?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262026325, December.
    9. Fabio Schiantarelli & Fidel Jaramillo, 2002. "Access to Long Term Debt and Effects on Firms' Performance: Lessons from Ecuador," Research Department Publications 3153, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    10. Amy K. Edwards & Lawrence E. Harris & Michael S. Piwowar, 2007. "Corporate Bond Market Transaction Costs and Transparency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1421-1451, June.
    11. Geromichalos, Athanasios & Herrenbrueck, Lucas M. & Salyer, Kevin D., 2016. "A search-theoretic model of the term premium," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    12. Fan, Joseph P. H. & Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2012. "An International Comparison of Capital Structure and Debt Maturity Choices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 23-56, February.
    13. Zachary Bethune & Bruno Sultanum & Nicholas Trachter, 2016. "Private Information in Over-the-Counter Markets," Working Paper 16-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, revised 21 Dec 2016.
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