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Author:Corbae, Dean 

Working Paper
Money and finance in a model of costly commitment

Working Papers , Paper 94-25

Working Paper
REORGANIZATION OR LIQUIDATION: BANKRUPTCY CHOICE AND FIRM DYNAMICS

In this paper, we ask how bankruptcy law affects the financial decisions of corporations and its implications for firm dynamics. According to current U.S. law, firms have two bankruptcy options: Chapter 7 liquidation and Chapter 11 reorganization. Using Compustat data, we first document capital structure and investment decisions of non-bankrupt, Chapter 11, and Chapter 7 firms. Using those data moments, we then estimate parameters of a firm dynamics model with endogenous entry and exit to include both bankruptcy options in a general equilibrium environment. Finally, we evaluate a bankruptcy ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-14

Working Paper
Capital requirements in a quantitative model of banking industry dynamics

We develop a model of banking industry dynamics to study the quantitative impact of capital requirements on bank risk taking, commercial bank failure, and market structure. We propose a market structure where big, dominant banks interact with small, competitive fringe banks. Banks accumulate securities like Treasury bills and undertake short-term borrowing when there are cash flow shortfalls. A nontrivial size distribution of banks arises out of endogenous entry and exit, as well as banks? buffer stocks of securities. We test the model using business cycle properties and the bank lending ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-13

Working Paper
A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score

What is the role of credit scores in credit markets? We argue that it is a stand-in for a market assessment of a person’s unobservable type (which here we take to be patience). We pose a model of persistent hidden types where observable actions shape the public assessment of a person’s type via Bayesian updating. We show how dynamic reputation can incentivize repayment without monetary costs of default beyond the administrative cost of filing for bankruptcy. Importantly, we show how an economy with credit scores implements the same equilibrium allocation. We estimate the model using both ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-39

Working Paper
Capital Buffers in a Quantitative Model of Banking Industry Dynamics

We develop a model of banking industry dynamics to study the quantitative impact of regulatory policies on bank risk taking and market structure as well as the feedback effect of market structure on the efficacy of policy. Since our model is matched to U.S. data, we propose a market structure where big banks with market power interact with small, competitive fringe banks. Banks face idiosyncratic funding shocks in addition to aggregate shocks which affect the fraction of performing loans in their portfolio. A nontrivial bank size distribution arises out of endogenous entry and exit, as well ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-24

Working Paper
On the aggregate welfare cost of Great Depression unemployment

The potential benefit of policies that eliminate a small likelihood of economic crises is calculated. An economic crisis is defined as an increase in unemployment of the magnitude observed during the Great Depression. For the U.S., the maximum-likelihood estimate of entering a depression is found to be about once every 83 years. The welfare gain from setting this small probability to zero can range between 1 and 7 percent of annual consumption in perpetuity. For most estimates, more than half of these large gains result from a reduction in individual consumption volatility. ; This paper ...
Working Papers , Paper 06-18

Working Paper
Financial Engineering and Economic Development

The vast literature on financial development focuses mostly on the causal impact of the quantity of financial intermediation on economic development and productivity. This paper, instead, focuses on the role of the financial sector in creating securities that cater to the needs of heterogeneous investors. We describe a dynamic extension of Allen and Gale (1989)?s optimal security design model in which producers can tranche the stochastic cash flows they generate at a cost. Lowering security creation costs in that environment leads to more financial investment, but it has ambiguous effects on ...
Working Papers , Paper 201629R

Working Paper
A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default

The authors study, theoretically and quantitatively, the general equilibrium of an economy in which households smooth consumption by means of both a riskless asset and unsecured loans with the option to default. The default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Competitive financial intermediaries offer a menu of loan sizes and interest rates wherein each loan makes zero profits. They prove the existence of a steady-state equilibrium and characterize the circumstances under which a household defaults on its loans. They show that their model accounts ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-16

Working Paper
A finite-life private-information theory of unsecured consumer debt

The authors present a theory of unsecured consumer debt that does not rely on utility costs of default or on enforcement mechanisms that arise in repeated-interaction settings. The theory is based on private information about a person's type and on a person's incentive to signal his type to entities other than creditors. Specifically, debtors signal their low-risk status to insurers by avoiding default in credit markets. The signal is credible because in equilibrium people who repay are more likely to be the low-risk type and so receive better insurance terms. The authors explore two ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-14

Report
Financial collapse and active monetary policy: a lesson from the Great Depression

We analyze financial collapses, such as the one that occurred during the U.S. Great Depression, from the perspective of a monetary model with multiple equilibria. The multiplicity arises from the presence of a strategic complementarity due to increasing returns to scale in the intermediation process. Intermediaries provide the link between savers and firms who require working capital for production. Fluctuations in the intermediation process are driven by variations in the confidence agents place in the financial system. From a positive perspective, our model matches closely the qualitative ...
Staff Report , Paper 289

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