Credit constraints, firms' precautionary investment, and the business cycle

Authors: Ander Pérez Orive

Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 78, 112-131, April, 2016

Credit constrained firms prefer types of capital that generate significant pledgeable output and are liquid, since they loosen current and future credit constraints. Because pledgeability and liquidity are low for long-term firm-specific capital, a negative temporary aggregate productivity shock that tightens credit constraints creates a bias towards liquid short-term investments. This dampens the short-run negative output reaction to the shock, at the expense of strong medium-run propagation effects. This mechanism can create a short-run expansion when a future tightening in credit conditions is anticipated.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 506