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Illiquidity and Under-Valuation of Firms

Douglas Gale () and Piero Gottardi

No 2900, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We study a competitive model in which market incompleteness implies that debt-financed firms may default in some states of nature and default may lead to the sale of the firms’ assets at fire sale prices when markets are illiquid. This incompleteness is the only friction in the model and the only cost of default. The anticipation of such losses alone may distort firms’ investment decisions. We characterize the conditions under which fire sales occur in equilibrium and their consequences on firms’ investment decisions. We also show that endogenous financial crises may arise in this environment, with asset prices collapsing as a result of pure self-fulfilling beliefs. Finally, we examine alternative interventions to restore the efficiency of equilibria.

Keywords: illiquid markets; default; incomplete markets; price distortions; inefficient investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D50 D80 G10 G33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Working Paper: Illiquidity and Under-Valuation of Firms (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Illiquidity and Under-Valuation of Firms (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Illiquidity and Under-Valuation of Firms (2008) Downloads
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