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Aggregate Consequences of Dynamic Credit Relationships
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 ...
Human Capital Risk, Contract Enforcement, and the Macroeconomy
We use data from the Survey of Consumer Finance and Survey of Income Program Participation to show that young households with children are under-insured against the risk that an adult member of the household dies. We develop a tractable macroeconomic model with human capital risk, age-dependent returns to human capital investment, and endogenous borrowing constraints due to the limited pledgeability of human capital (limited contract enforcement). We show analytically that, consistent with the life insurance data, in equilibrium young households are borrowing constrained and under-insured ...
International Asset Markets and Real Exchange Rate Volatility
The real exchange rate is very volatile relative to major macroeconomic aggregates and its correlation with the ratio of domestic over foreign consumption is negative (Backus-Smith puzzle). These two observations constitute a puzzle to standard international macroeconomic theory. This paper develops a two country model with complete asset markets and limited enforcement for international financial contracts that provides a possible explanation of these two puzzles. The model performs better than a standard incomplete markets model with a single non-contingent bond unless very tight borrowing ...
Limited enforcement and the organization of production
This paper describes a dynamic, general equilibrium model designed to assess whether contractual imperfections in the form of limited enforcement can account for international differences in the organization of production. In the model, limited enforcement constrains agents to operate establishments below their optimal scale. As a result, economies where contracts are enforced more efficiently tend to be richer and emphasize large scale production. Calibrated simulations of the model reveal that these effects can be large and account for a sizeable part of the observed differences in the size ...
Insurance in Human Capital Models with Limited Enforcement
This paper develops a tractable human capital model with limited enforceability of contracts. The model economy is populated by a large number of long-lived, risk-averse households with homothetic preferences who can invest in risk-free physical capital and risky human capital. Households have access to a complete set of credit and insurance contracts, but their ability to use the available financial instruments is limited by the possibility of default (limited contract enforcement). We provide a convenient equilibrium characterization that facilitates the computation of recursive equilibria ...