In reading the Wikipedia article about the "financial accelerator," I read this

Firms’ ability to borrow depends essentially on the market value of their net worth. The reason for this is the familiar story of asymmetric information between lenders and borrowers. Lenders are likely to have little information about the reliability of any given borrower. As such, they usually require borrowers to set forth their ability to repay, often in the form of collateralized assets.

So, I believe that models with a financial accelerator, such as Kiyotaki and Moore (1997), assume a credit constraint. I am looking form papers that derive these credit constraints. That is, where do they come from? Could someone provide the reference?

Papers that I can think of are, for example, Hart and Moore (1994), which derives constraints that are driven by asymmetric information and the inalienability of human capital, or Myers and Rajan (1998), which derives debt capacity from inefficient liquidation and the ability of the manager to engage in asset substitution. What are the classic papers on this topic?

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    $\begingroup$ The papers that come to my mind are mentioned in the section "A simple theoretical framework?" Are you looking for something in addition to this? Mentioned in that section include: Bernanke, Gertler and Gilchrist (1996), and Kiyotaki and Moore (1997). $\endgroup$
    – cc7768
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I was unclear. I have edited the question to clarify. $\endgroup$
    – jmbejara
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


I don't know if you refer to the extensive margin (some borrowers not being able to get credit) or to the intensive margin (one borrower not being able to get as much credit as (s)he wants). If you are referring to the former, one of the theoretical papers for borrowing constraints on markets with asymmetric information is the following one:

Stiglitz and Weiss (1981) AER's paper on Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1802787?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

The argument is very interesting. If lenders cannot distinguish between high risk and low risk borrowers, then the ''market-clearing'' (loosely speaking) equilibrium interest rates will be such that identical (to the observer) consumers can be rationed out.

Other good papers are Bester's (1985) AER's paper on Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1821362?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Finally Chapter 16 on the Handbook of Monetary Economics by Jaffee and Stiglitz may help you.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello, if anyone feels that something is missing please let me know. $\endgroup$
    – MathUser
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 19:33

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