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Economies of scale in banking, confidence shocks, and business cycles

Dressler, Scott J. (2009): Economies of scale in banking, confidence shocks, and business cycles.

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Abstract

This paper quantitatively investigates equilibrium indeterminacy due to economies of scale (ES) in financial intermediation. Financial intermediation provides deposits (inside money) which can substitute with currency to purchase consumption, and depositing decisions are susceptible to non-fundamental confidence (sunspot) shocks. With the intermediation sector calibrated to match US data: (i) indeterminacy arises for small degrees of ES; (ii) sunspot shocks qualitatively resemble monetary shocks; and (iii) monetary policies can stabilize the real impact of sunspot shocks, but only under complete information. The analysis also assesses the removal of these shocks on the volatility decline observed during the US Great Moderation.

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