Credit and the real economy : macroeconomic and microeconomic aspects
In the last decades several economists and practitioners have pointed out the importance of financial markets for real economic activity. In this dissertation we analyse the interaction between credit, especially banking, and real activity. While we deal also with the interaction between credit and firms' behaviour at the microeconomic level, our main emphasis is on the impact of credit on aggregate variables. Our target is, taking as primitive distinguishing features of intermediaries (banks), to understand how these features affect the link between intermediation (banking) and real variables. In the dissertation we focus both on features of the financial structure of intermediaries, like the structure of banks' liabilities, and on features of their activity, like intermediaries' superior ability in gathering information and monitoring borrowers. The dissertation offers several policy implications. The banking sector is one of the most regulated sectors in modern economies: besides being subject to regulation directly, the activity of banks is also constrained by other branches of the legal framework like the bankruptcy law. Throughout the dissertation we devote particular attention to regulatory and legal prescriptions and to the way they are concretely implemented. Overall, the dissertation suggests several mechanisms of interaction between the credit sector and the real economy that deserve further attention in future research.