Markups and Productivity under Heterogeneous Financial Frictions
43 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018
Date Written: December 2018
We incorporate heterogeneous financial frictions in a setting of monopolistically competitive firms with endogenous markups. Before producing, firms must pledge collateral to obtain a bank loan, needed to cover part of production costs. Firms differ both in productivity and in their cost of raising collateral. Firm-specific financial frictions, together with productivity, therefore figure in the equilibrium expressions of prices and markups. We validate our theoretical results on a representative sample of European manufacturing firms surveyed during the financial crisis. Guided by our model we retrieve from balance-sheet data firm-specific measures of access to finance, total factor productivity and markups, and then use these variables to estimate our equilibrium equations structurally. Consistent with our model, we show how heterogeneity in access to finance explains part of the dispersion of prices and markups, even after controlling for firms' productivity and size. In the aggregate industry equilibrium, the amount of collateral required by banks significantly affects the cost pass-through to prices.
Keywords: Financial frictions, heterogeneous firms, markups
JEL Classification: D24; E22; F36; G20
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