Aggregate Consequences of Dynamic Credit Relationships
61 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2015 Last revised: 8 Sep 2015
Date Written: August 14, 2015
Which financial frictions matter in the aggregate? This paper presents a general equilibrium model in which entrepreneurs finance a firm with a long-term contract. The contract is constrained efficient because firm revenue is costly to monitor and entrepreneurs may default. The cost of monitoring firms and the entrepreneurs' outside options determine the significance of moral hazard relative to limited enforcement for financial contracting. Calibrating the model to the U.S. economy, I find that the relative welfare loss from financial frictions is about 5 percent in terms of aggregate consumption with moral hazard, while it is 1 percent with limited enforcement. Reforms designed to strengthen contract enforcement increase aggregate consumption in the short-run, but their long-run effects are modest when monitoring costs are high. Weak contract enforcement contribute to aggregate fluctuations by amplifying the effect of aggregate technological shocks, but moral hazard does not.
Keywords: private information; limited enforcement; financial contracting; financial development; firm dynamics
JEL Classification: E32, D82, G32, L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation