Optimal Interventions in Markets with Adverse Selection
We characterize cost-minimizing interventions to restore lending and investment when markets fail due to adverse selection. We solve a mechanism design problem where the strategic decision to participate in a government's program signals information that affects the financing terms of non-participating borrowers. In this environment, we find that the government cannot selectively attract good borrowers, that the efficiency of an intervention is fully determined by the market rate for non-participating borrowers, and that simple programs of debt guarantee are optimal, while equity injections or asset purchases are not. Finally, the government does not benefit from shutting down private markets.
An online appendix is available for this publication.
This paper was revised on December 5, 2011
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15785
Published: Thomas Philippon & Vasiliki Skreta, 2012. "Optimal Interventions in Markets with Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 1-28, February.
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