Pablo Ottobello, Assistant Professor of Economics and Thomas Winberry coauthored Financial Heterogeneity and the Investment Channel of Monetary Policy.

Abstract:

We study the role of financial frictions and firm heterogeneity in determining the investment channel of monetary policy. Empirically, we find that firms with low default risk – those with low debt burdens and high “distance to default” – are the most responsive to monetary shocks. We interpret these findings using a heterogeneous firm New Keynesian model with default risk. In our model, low-risk firms are more responsive to monetary shocks because they face a flatter marginal cost curve for financing investment. The aggregate effect of monetary policy may therefore depend on the distribution of default risk, which varies over time.