NBER Working Papers by Yan Bai

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Working Papers

December 2016Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility
with Cristina Arellano, Patrick J. Kehoe: w22990
During the recent U.S. financial crisis, the large decline in aggregate output and labor was accompanied by both a tightening of financial conditions and a large increase in the dispersion of growth rates across firms. The tightened financial conditions manifested themselves as increases in firms' credit spreads and decreases in both equity payouts and debt purchases. These features motivate us to build a model in which increased volatility of firm level productivity shocks generates a downturn and worsened credit conditions. The key idea in the model is that hiring inputs is risky because financial frictions limit firms' ability to insure against shocks. Hence, an increase in idiosyncratic volatility induces firms to reduce their inputs to reduce such risk. We find that our model can gene...
January 2015The Maturity and Payment Schedule of Sovereign Debt
with Seon Tae Kim, Gabriel P. Mihalache: w20896
This paper studies the maturity and stream of payments of sovereign debt. Using Bloomberg bond data for eleven emerging economies, we document that countries react to crises by issuing debt with shortened maturity but back-load payment schedules. To account for this pattern, we develop a sovereign default model with an endogenous choice of debt maturity and payment schedule. During recessions, the country prefers its payments to be more back-loaded—delaying relatively larger payments—to smooth consumption. However, such a back-loaded schedule is expensive given that later payments carry higher default risk. To reduce borrowing costs, the country optimally shortens maturity. When calibrated to the Brazilian data, the model can rationalize the observed patterns of maturity and payment schedu...
October 2013Linkages across Sovereign Debt Markets
with Cristina Arellano: w19548
We develop a multicountry model in which default in one country triggers default in other countries. Countries are linked to one another by borrowing from and renegotiating with common lenders with concave payoffs. A foreign default increases incentives to default at home because it makes new borrowing more expensive and defaulting less costly. Foreign defaults tighten home bond prices because they lower lenders' payoffs. Foreign defaults make home default less costly by lowering future recoveries, because countries can extract more surplus if they renegotiate simultaneously. In our model, the home country may default only because the foreign country is defaulting. This dependency arises during fundamental foreign defaults, where the foreign country defaults because of high debt and low in...
July 2009Firm Dynamics and Financial Development
with Cristina Arellano, Jing Zhang: w15193
This paper studies the impact of cross-country variation in financial market development on firms' financing choices and growth rates using comprehensive firm-level datasets. We document that in less financially developed economies, small firms grow faster and have lower debt to asset ratios than large firms. We then develop a quantitative model where financial frictions drive firm growth and debt financing through the availability of credit and default risk. We parameterize the model to the firms' financial structure in the data and show that financial restrictions can account for the majority of the difference in growth rates between firms of different sizes across countries.

Published: Arellano, Cristina & Bai, Yan & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "Firm dynamics and financial development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 533-549. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

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