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BCAM 1602
Frank Smets and Stefania Villa
Slow recoveries: any role for corporate leverage?

This paper examines whether financial conditions of the non-financial corporate sector can explain why the recovery from recessions in the United States is slower since the mid-1980s. Leverage by the corporate sector has increased significantly since the financial deregulation of the mid-1980s. Empirical evidence shows that slow recoveries are associated with a significant drop in the growth rates of investment and bank loans, and with a surge in the growth rates of corporate bonds. In an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with a financial accelerator, counterfactual experiments based on estimates of two samples - 1965-1983 and 1984-2007 - show that the non-financial corporate indebtedness affects only marginally the speed of the recovery in the two samples.

Keywords: speed of recoveries, indebtedness, financial frictions, estimated DSGE model.

JEL Classification: E32, E44.

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