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Bubbly collateral and economic activity
Martin, Alberto; Ventura, Jaume
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
This paper develops a model of the bubbly economy and uses it to study the effects of bailoutpolicies. In the bubbly economy, weak enforcement institutions do not allow firms to pledge futurerevenues to their creditors. As a result, "fundamental" collateral is scarce and this impairs the intermediationprocess that transforms savings into capital. To overcome this shortage of "fundamental"collateral, the bubbly economy creates "bubbly" collateral. This additional collateral supports anintricate array of intra- and inter-generational transfers that allow savings to be transformed intocapital and bubbles. Swings in investor sentiment lead to fluctuations in the amount of bubblycollateral, giving rise to bubbly business cycles with very rich and complex dynamics.Bailout policies can affect these dynamics in a variety of ways. Expected bailouts provideadditional collateral and expand investment and the capital stock. Realized bailouts reduce thesupply of funds and contract investment and the capital stock. Thus, bailout policies tend to fosterinvestment and growth in normal times, but to depress investment and growth during crisis periods.We show how to design bailout policies that maximize various policy objectives.
Macroeconomics and International Economics
cost of capital
economic growth
financial frictions
pyramid schemes
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