Endogenous Sudden Stops in a Business Cycle Model with Collateral Constraints:A Fisherian Deflation of Tobin's Q
The current account reversals, large recessions, and price collapses that define Sudden Stops contradict the predictions of a large class of models in which the current account is a vehicle for consumption smoothing and investment financing. This paper shows that the quantitative predictions of a business cycle model with collateral constraints are consistent with the key features of Sudden Stops. Standard shocks to imported input prices, the world interest rate, and productivity trigger collateral constraints on debt and working capital when borrowing levels are high relative to asset values, and these high-leverage states are endogenous outcomes. In these situations, Irving Fisher's debt-deflation mechanism causes Sudden Stops as the deflation of Tobin's Q leads to a spiraling decline in the prices and holdings of collateral assets. This has immediate effects on output and factor demands because collapsing collateral values cut access to working capital. In contrast with previous findings, collateral constraints induce significant amplification in the responses of macroaggregates to shocks. Because of precautionary saving, Sudden Stops are infrequent events nested within normal cycles in the long run, but they remain a positive probability event.
I am grateful to Guillermo Calvo, Dave Cook, Mick Devereux, Gita Gopinath, Tim Kehoe, Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Narayana Kocherlakota, Juan Pablo Nicolini, Marcelo Oviedo, Helene Rey, Vincenzo Quadrini, Alvaro Riascos, Lars Svensson, Linda Tesar and Martin Uribe for helpful comments. I am also grateful for comments by participants at the 2006 Texas Monetary Conference, 2005 Meeting of the Society for Economic Dynamics, the Fall 2004 IFM Program Meeting of the NBER, and seminars at the ECB, BIS, Bank of Portugal, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, IDB, IMF, Harvard, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Oregon, Princeton, UCLA, USC, Western Ontario and Yale. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.