Liquidity Choice and Misallocation of Credit


Ehsan Ebrahimy

Publication Date:

December 20, 2019

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


This paper studies a novel type of misallocation of credit between investments of varying liquidity. One type of investment is more liquid, i.e., its return is more pledgeable, and the other is more productive. Low liquidities of both investment types imply that the allocation of credit is constrained inefficient and that there is overinvestment in the liquid type. Constrained inefficient equilibria feature non-positive, i.e., one less than or equal the economy’s growth rate, and yet too high interest rate, too much investment and too little consumption. Financial development can reduce long-term welfare and output in a constrained inefficient equilibrium if it raises the liquidity of the liquid type. I show a maximum liquid asset ratio or a simple debt tax can achieve constrained efficiency. Introducing government bonds can make Pareto improvement whenever it does not raise the interest rate.


Working Paper No. 2019/284



Publication Date:

December 20, 2019



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