Staff Reports
A Dynamic Theory of Collateral Quality and Long-Term Interventions
Number 894
August 2019

JEL classification: E44, E50, G01, G18

Authors: Michael Junho Lee and Daniel Neuhann

We study a dynamic model of collateralized lending under adverse selection in which the quality of collateral assets is endogenously determined by hidden effort. Complementarities in incentives lead to non-ergodic dynamics: Asset quality and output grow when asset quality is high, but stagnate or deteriorate otherwise. Inefficiencies remain, even in the most efficient competitive equilibrium—investment and output are vulnerable to spells of lending market illiquidity, and these spells may persist because of suboptimal effort. Nevertheless, benevolent regulators without commitment can destroy welfare by prioritizing liquidity over incentives. Optimal interventions with commitment call for large, long-term subsidies in excess of what is required to restore liquidity.

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AUTHOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT(S)
Michael Junho Lee
I declare that I have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Prior to circulation, this paper was reviewed in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York review policy, available at https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/index.html.

Daniel Neuhann
The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Prior to circulation, this paper was reviewed in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York review policy, available at https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/index.html.