Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies
Vol. 25(01) , April 2018, Page 122-143

Uncertainty, agency costs and investment behavior in the Euro area and in the USA
Johannes Strobel & Kevin D. Salyer & Gabriel S. Lee

DOI: 10.1108/JABES-04-2018-0007
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the credit channel effects on investment behavior for the US and the Euro area. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model and calibrates a version of the Carlstrom and Fuerst’s (1997) agency cost model of business cycles with timevarying uncertainty in the technology shocks that affect capital production. To highlight the differences between the US and European financial sectors, the paper focuses on two key components of the lending channel: the risk premium associated with bank loans and the bankruptcy rates. Findings – This paper shows that the effects of minor differences in the credit market translate into large, persistent and asymmetric fluctuations in real and financial variables and depend on the type of shocks. The results imply that the Euro areas supply elasticities for capital are less elastic than that of the USA following a technology shock. Finally, the authors find that the adverse impact of uncertainty shocks is heterogeneous across countries and amplified by the steady-state bankruptcy rate and risk premium. Originality/value – This paper quantifies the effects of uncertainty shocks when there is a credit channel due to asymmetric information between lenders and borrowers for the Euro area countries, and then compares the results to that of the USA. This paper shows that financial accelerator mechanism could potentially play a significant role in business cycles in the Euro area. This result directly lends one to conclude the following: the credit channel that affects the financial sector does indeed matter for macroeconomic behavior, and that policy makers should be attentive in smoothing out uncertainties if the economic policies are to lower the business and financial cycle volatilities.

Agency costs, Investment behaviour, Credit channel, EU area