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Can a \\"credit crunch\\" be efficient?
Two observations have sometimes been viewed as evidence that the equilibrium allocations of intermediated credit markets are inefficient. First, low-income households' marginal propensity to consume is close to unity. Second, even high-income households seem to face nonprice constraints during recessions. This paper presents a model that possesses both of these features. (A recession is modeled as an economy in which the equilibrium level of investment is at its lowest possible level.) However, contrary to the conventional view, the equilibrium of this model is ex ante efficient. The model ...
Contracts, constraints, and consumption
The paper compares implications of three kinds of models of households? consumption behavior: the basic permanent-income model, several models of liquidity-constrained households, and a model of an informationally-constrained efficient contract. These models are distinguished in terms of implications regarding the present discounted values of net trades to households at various levels of temporary income, and the households? marginal rates of substitution. Martingale consumption is studied as an approximation to the predicted consumption process of the efficient-contract model.