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The Effects of Credit Subsidies on Development

António Antunes (), Tiago Cavalcanti () and Anne Villamil

Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series from Economics, The University of Manchester

Abstract: Under credit market imperfections, the marginal productivity of capital will not necessarily be equalized, resulting in misallocation and lower output. Preferential interest rate policies are often used to remedy the problem. This paper constructs a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents, imperfect enforcement and costly intermediation. Occupational choice and firm size are determined endogenously by an agent's type (ability and net wealth) and credit market frictions. The credit program subsidizes the interest rate on loans and requires a fixed application cost, which might be null, in the form of bureaucracy and regulations. First, we find that the interest credit subsidy policy has no significant effect on output, but it can have negative effects on wages and government finances. The program is largely a transfer from households to a small group of entrepreneurs with minor aggregate effects. We include a transition analysis. Second, we provide quantitative estimates of the effects of reducing the frictions directly. When comparing differences in U.S. output per capita in baseline and simulations with counterfactually high frictions such as those observed in Brazil, intermediation costs and enforcement.

Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge and nep-lam
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