Adverse Selection, Risk Sharing and Business Cycles
I consider a real business cycle model in which agents have private information about an idiosyncratic shock to their value of leisure. I consider the mechanism design problem for this economy and describe a computational method to solve it. This is an important contribution of the paper since the method could be used to solve a wide class of models with heterogeneous agents and aggregate uncertainty. Calibrating the model to U.S. data I find a striking result: That the information frictions that plague the economy have no effects on business cycle fluctuations.
Market-making with Search and Information Frictions
We develop a dynamic model of trading through market-makers that incorporates two canonical sources of illiquidity: trading (or search) frictions, which imply that market-makers have some amount of market power; and information frictions, which imply that market-makers face some degree of adverse selection. We use this model to study the effects of various technological innovations and regulatory initiatives that have reduced trading frictions in over-the-counter markets. Our main result is that reducing trading frictions can lead to less liquidity, as measured by bid-ask spreads. The key ...
Old, Frail, and Uninsured: Accounting for Puzzles in the U.S. Long-Term Care Insurance Market
Half of U.S. 50-year-olds will experience a nursing home stay before they die, and one in ten will incur out-of-pocket long-term care expenses in excess of $200,000. Surprisingly, only about 10% of individuals over age 62 have private long-term care insurance (LTCI). This paper proposes a quantitative equilibrium optimal contracting model of the LTCI market that features screening along the extensive margin. Frail and/or poor risk groups are ordered a single contract of no insurance that we refer to as a rejection. According to our model, rejections are the main reason that LTCI take-up rates ...
Adverse Selection, Lemons Shocks and Business Cycles
Asymmetric information is crucial for understanding the disruption of the supply of credit. This paper studies a dynamic economy featuring asymmetric information and resulting adverse selection in credit markets. Entrepreneurs seek loans from banks for projects, but asymmetric information about entrepreneurs' riskiness causes a lemons problem: relatively safe entrepreneurs do not get funded. An increase in the riskiness of some entrepreneurs raises interest rate spreads, aggravates adverse selection, and shrinks the supply of bank credit. The model calibrated to the U.S. economy generates ...
Corporate Governance and Risk Management at Unprotected Banks: National Banks in the 1890s
Managers' incentives may conflict with those of shareholders or creditors, particularly at leveraged, opaque banks. Bankers may abuse their control rights to give themselves excessive salaries, favored access to credit, or to take excessive risks that benefit themselves at the expense of depositors. Banks must design contracting and governance structures that sufficiently resolve agency problems so that they can attract funding from outside shareholders and depositors. We examine banks from the 1890s, a period when there were no distortions from deposit insurance or government interventions ...
Screening and Adverse Selection in Frictional Markets
We incorporate a search-theoretic model of imperfect competition into a standard model of asymmetric information with unrestricted contracts. We characterize the unique equilibrium, and use our characterization to explore the interaction between adverse selection, screening, and imperfect competition. We show that the relationship between an agent?s type, the quantity he trades, and the price he pays is jointly determined by the severity of adverse selection and the concentration of market power. Therefore, quantifying the effects of adverse selection requires controlling for market ...
Securitization and mortgage default
We find that private-securitized loans perform worse than observably similar, nonsecuritized loans, which provides evidence for adverse selection. The effect of securitization is strongest for prime mortgages, which have not been studied widely in the previous literature and particular prime adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): These become delinquent at a 30 percent higher rate when privately securitized. By contrast, our baseline estimates for subprime mortgages show that private-securitized loans default at lower rates. We show, however, that ?early defaulting loans? account for this: those ...
Extended Loan Terms and Auto Loan Default Risk
A salient feature of the $1.2 trillion auto-loan market is the extension of loan maturity terms in recentyears. Using a large, national sample of auto loans from the entire auto market, we find that the default rates on six- and seven-year loans are multiple times that of shorter five-year term loans. Most of the default risk difference is due to borrower risks associated with longer-term loans, as those longer-term auto borrowers are more credit and liquidity constrained. We also find borrowers’ loan-term choice to be endogenous and that the endogeneity bias is substantial in conventional ...
Stress Tests and Information Disclosure
We study an optimal disclosure policy of a regulator that has information about banks (e.g., from conducting stress tests). In our model, disclosure can destroy risk-sharing opportunities for banks (the Hirshleifer effect). Yet, in some cases, some level of disclosure is necessary for risk sharing to occur. We provide conditions under which optimal disclosure takes a simple form (e.g., full disclosure, no disclosure, or a cutoff rule). We also show that, in some cases, optimal disclosure takes a more complicated form (e.g., multiple cutoffs or nonmonotone rules), which we characterize. We ...
Screening on Loan Terms: Evidence from Maturity Choice in Consumer Credit
We exploit a natural experiment in the largest online consumer lending platform to provide the first evidence that loan terms, in particular maturity choice, can be used to screen borrowers based on their private information. We compare two groups of observationally equivalent borrowers who took identical unsecured 36-month loans; for only one of the groups, a 60-month loan was also available. When a long-maturity option is available, fewer borrowers take the short-term loan, and those who do default less. Additional findings suggest borrowers self-select on private information about their ...