Pecuniary Externality through Credit Constraints: Two Examples without Uncertainty
This paper is a contribution to the growing literature on constrained inefficiencies in economies with financial frictions. The purpose is to present two simple examples, inspired by the stochastic models in Gersbach-Rochet (2012) and Lorenzoni (2008), of deterministic environments in which such inefficiencies arise through credit constraints. Common to both examples is a pecuniary externality, which operates through an asset price. In the second example, a simple transfer between two groups of agents can bring about a Pareto improvement. In a first best economy, there are no pecuniary externalities because marginal productivities are equalised. But when agents face credit constraints, there is a wedge between their marginal productivities and those of the non-credit-constrained agents. The wedge is the source of the pecuniary externality: economies with these kinds of imperfections in credit markets are not second-best efficient. This is akin to the constrained inefficiency of an economy with incomplete markets, as in Geanakoplos and Polemarchakis (1986).