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Aggregate implications of asymmetric information in credit markets


This project aims at exploring the macroeconomic implications of agents' behaviours in credit markets where information is not perfectly distributed. Many recent studies emphasized the relationship between asymmetric information in loan relationships and aggregate outcomes. These researches share the conviction that the way in which entrepreneurs decide to finance their production activities, interact with financial institutions, and define contractual agreements is a relevant source of economic inefficiencies a s well as a major cause of business fluctuations.

Our main target is to contribute to these studies introducing a formal mechanism design analysis of lender-borrower relationships. We plan to develop two main lines of investigation. First, we will emphasize the role of credit market imperfections in macroeconomic models where agents are allowed to choose their optimal financial arrangements. As a consequence, asymmetric information in the credit market can be responsible for the existence of business fluctuations and, at the same time, fluctuations can influence the nature of firms' financing over time. This intuition might provide important extensions of traditional Corporate Finance theories that relate firms' capital structure only to the characteristics of agency costs under asymmetric information. Second, we will focus on the analysis of credit markets where multiple lenders are strategically competing over their contract offers to entrepreneurs/borrowers.

Emphasis will be given to the construction of theoretical schemes that enable to characterize the relevant credit market equilibria and to understand their efficiency properties. If asymmetric information is a persistent feature of credit relationships, then market equilibria may fail to achieve even Pareto-constrained efficiency. Our research will try to develop a welfare-based foundation for policy interventions in market economies with incentive problems.

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21, allee de Brienne

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