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Credit constraints, firms' precautionary investment and the business cycle

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Abstract

This paper studies the macroeconomic implications of firms' investment composition choices in the presence of credit constraints. Following a negative and persistent aggregate productivity shock, firms shift into short-term investments because they produce more pledgeable output and because they help alleviate future borrowing constraints. This produces a short-run dampening of the effects of the shock, at the expense of lower long-term investment and future output, relative to an economy with no credit market imperfections. The effects are exacerbated by a steepening of the term structure of interest rates that further encourages a shift towards short-term investments in the short-run. Small temporary shocks to the severity of financing frictions generate large and long-lasting effects on output through their impact on the composition of investment. A positive financial shock produces much stronger effects than an identical negative shock, while the responses to positive and negative shocks to aggregate productivity are roughly symmetric. Finally, the paper introduces a novel explanation for the countercyclicality of financing constraints of firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ander Pérez Orive, 2010. "Credit constraints, firms' precautionary investment and the business cycle," Economics Working Papers 1237, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1237
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investment composition; Financial frictions; Business cycles; Idiosyncratic production risk; Firm heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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