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Firm Behaviour Under the Threat of Liquidation: Implications for Output, Investment & Business Cycle Transmission


  • Alistair Milne

    () (University of Surrey)

  • Donald Robertson


Cash balances of the firm follow a diffusion process, triggering liquidation when they cross a threshold value. Access to external funds is constrained. Shareholders are impatient. With these assumptions there is a precautionary motive for retaining earnings; the internal cost of funds and local risk-aversion are decreasing functions of net worth; and, in extensions of our basic model, output and investment are increasing functions of net worth. We numerically simulate aggregate behaviour of a population of such firms. Shocks to net worth lead to substantial and prolonged deviations from steady state, consistent with a financial mechanism of business cycle transmission.

Suggested Citation

  • Alistair Milne & Donald Robertson, 1994. "Firm Behaviour Under the Threat of Liquidation: Implications for Output, Investment & Business Cycle Transmission," School of Economics Discussion Papers 9402, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  • Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:9402

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    2. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114.
    3. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
    4. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "A simplified treatment of the theory of optimal regulation of Brownian motion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 657-673, October.
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    More about this item


    Financing constraints; output; investment;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy


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