Firm Quality Dynamics and the Slippery Slope of Credit Intervention
Charles A. Dice Working Paper No. 2020-28
92 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2020 Last revised: 6 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 1, 2021
In crises, low-quality firms face greater financial shortfalls and invest less than high-quality firms. Public liquidity support preserves the overall production capacity but dampens the cleansing effects of crises on firm quality. The trade-off between quantity and quality determines the optimal size of intervention. Policy distortions are self-perpetuating: A downward bias in quality necessitates interventions of greater scales in future crises. Distortions are amplified by low-quality firms’ expectations of liquidity support and overinvestment pre-crisis. Finally, the optimal intervention is larger and distortionary effects stronger in a low interest rate environment where low yields on precautionary savings discourage firms from self-insurance.
Keywords: heterogeneous firms, firm distribution, credit intervention, liquidity facility, unconventional monetary policy, collateral, limited commitment, corporate liquidity management, disaster, financial crises, Covid-19 pandemic
JEL Classification: E0, G0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation