Becker Friedman Institute
for Research in Economics
The University of Chicago

Research. Insights. Impact. Advancing the Legacy of Chicago Economics.


Cash Burns: An Inventory Model with a Cash-Credit Choice

Fernando Alvarez, Francesco Lippi

We present a dynamic cash-management model where agents choose whether to pay with cash or credit at every point in time. In the model credit usage depends on the current stock of cash, a novel result that matches recent micro evidence on household’s payment choices. The optimality of such decision rule is novel and cannot be obtained by models where cash-credit decisions are made at the “beginning” of each period. We discuss how to use the model to account for cross country-evidence on the intensity of credit usage and for several statistics on the size and frequency of cash withdrawals.

The Macroprudential Toolkit

Anil K Kashyap, Richard Berner, Charles A.E. Goodhartn

Most treatments of financial regulation worry about threats to the banking system and the economy from defaults or credit crunches. This paper argues that the recent crisis points to fire sales through capital markets as another source of financial and economic instability. Accounting for fire sales implies several changes to the stan- dard approach. First, if there are three channels of instability, then three regulatory tools are needed to deliver stability.

A Macroeconomic Framework for Quantifying Systemic Risk

Zhiguo He, Arvind Krishnamurthy

Systemic risk arises when shocks lead to states where a disruption in financial intermedi- ation adversely affects the economy and feeds back into further disrupting financial interme- diation. We present a macroeconomic model with a financial intermediary sector subject to an equity capital constraint. The novel aspect of our analysis is that the model produces a stochas- tic steady state distribution for the economy, in which only some of the states correspond to systemic risk states. The model allows us to examine the transition from “normal” states to sys- temic risk states.