Financial Market Imperfections and Aggregate Fluctuations
This dissertation examines the fluctuations of the aggregate economy when frictions in financial markets are present. I focus on the the asymmetric information problems between creditors and debtors on the quality of debtor's projects and I analyze how these frictions cause the fluctuations in aggregate economy which is potentially inefficient. The first chapter examines the interaction between the perverse incentives and the general equilibrium effects of misallocated bank credit. This essay is intended to elucidate the mechanism of zombie lending in Japan. By incorporating a soft budget problem into a neo-classical dynamic general equilibrium model, the model shows that an inefficient zombie lending regime can be selected as an equilibrium. In this equilibrium, the incentives and the general equilibrium effects are interdependent. The inefficient use of resources crowds out investment when banks have incentives to bail out insolvent firms. On the other hand, the general equilibrium effects give rise to the perverse incentives endogenously through the formation of the liquidation value and the continuation value of insolvent firms. In the worst case, agents fail to resolve non-performing loan problems, and the model economy permanently falls into an inefficient regime. The second chapter proposes a model that generate boom-and-bust cycles by securitization of subprime mortgages. I construct a dynamic housing choice model in which mortgages are financed by securitization and I assume that creditors have errors in measuring the default risks of subprime mortgages. With this setup, the resource availability for housing fluctuates endogenously and it causes the boom-and-bust cycles. Particularly, there are two channels that change the resource availability: the security design of the securitized assets and the evolution of house price inflation. I illustrate that subprime mortgages can be cheaply financed by securitization when creditors mismeasure the quality of the subprime mortgages. This ignites a boom in the model. However, the boom can be terminated as the profitability of securitization declines along with the decline in the expectation of house price inflation. This is because the house price inflation is tied with the liquidation value of the defaulted mortgages. As the expectation of the house price inflation slows down, the subprime mortgages become more risky and the securitization becomes less profitable. Eventually, issuers of securitized assets withdraw from the securitization market and the boom collapses. The last chapter explores the transmission mechanisms of international business cycles when the borrowing capacity of multinational enterprises (MNEs) is limited. I embed MNEs that face borrowing constraints in a two-country international business cycle model. I show that the net worth of MNEs plays a significant role in generating the international business cycle co-movement: the wealth effect in response to the change in MNEs' net worth has a strong multiplier effect on domestic and foreign investment of MNEs. Output moves in the same direction between the two countries due to the synchronized investment. The model is also able to generate reasonable cross-country correlations in real estate price and consumption.