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Estimating Contract Indexation in a Financial Accelerator Model

This paper addresses the positive implications of indexing risky debt to observable aggregate conditions. These issues are pursued within the context of the celebrated financial accelerator model of Bernanke, Gertler and Gilchrist (1999). The principal conclusions include: (1) the estimated level of indexation is significant, (2) the business cycle properties of the model are significantly affected by this degree of indexation, (3) the importance of investment shocks in the business cycle depends upon the estimated level of indexation, and (4) although the data prefers the financial model with indexation over the frictionless model, they have remarkably similar business cycle properties for non-financial exogenous shocks.

Key words: Agency costs; financial accelerator; business cycles.
JEL Codes: E32, E44.

This paper is a revision of an earlier version posted June 2012.

Suggested citation: Carlstrom, Charles T., Timothy S. Fuerst, Alberto Ortiz, and Matthias Paustian, 2012. "Estimating Contract Indexation in a Financial Accelerator Model," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 12-16.

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