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The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012 aims at increasing funding access for young firms by easing securities regulation. Motivated by this, we ask if there is a role for the regulation of the market of funds for firms that lack collateral and have a large uncertainty about their ability to generate profits. To answer that we characterize optimal financial contracts in a competitive environment with risk, adverse selection and limited liability. We find that competition among financial intermediaries always forces them to fund projects with negative expected returns both from a private and from a social perspective. Intermediaries use steep payoff schedules to screen entrepreneurs, but limited liability implies this can only be done by giving more to all entrepreneurs. In equilibrium, competition for the best entrepreneurs forces intermediaries to offer better terms to all customers, there is cross-subsidization among entrepreneurs and intermediation profits are nil. The three main features of our framework (competition, adverse selection and limited liability) are necessary in order to get the inefficient laissez-faire outcome and a role for barriers to entry into financial intermediation. Our result remains robust when firms can collateralize some portion of the credit as long as there is still an unsecured fraction.
This paper applies an analytical framework that identifies the types of market failures responsible for the underdevelopment of the housing finance system. The working hypothesis is that there is a correlation between the nature and scope of market failures, and the kind of public interventions actually implemented. Evidence seems to disprove the policy adequacy hypothesis. Nevertheless, it is enc ... (View publication)
This paper presents an integrated overview of the literature linking institutions, financial development and economic growth. From the large body of research on institutional development, the paper first selects those contributions that make it possible to study the role of institutional arrangements in ameliorating/worsening the information frictions and transaction costs that characterize the de ... (View publication)
This paper surveys housing finance in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama. The development of a secondary mortgage-backed securities market in Costa Rica is very limited despite a broad legal framework, while in El Salvador it is nonexistent and in Panama has not grown due to high liquidity. In Costa Rica’s subsidy policy, core institutions responsible for housing policy act as facilitators of priv ... (View publication)
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