September 2017 issue contents
Capital Injection to Banks versus Debt Relief to Households

by Jinhyuk Yoo
Bank of Korea


I propose a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model in which the leverage of borrowers as well as banks and housing finance play a crucial role in the model dynamics. The model is used to evaluate the relative effectiveness of a policy to inject capital into banks versus a policy to relieve households of mortgage debt. In normal times, when the economy is near the steady state and policy rates are set according to a Taylor-type rule, capital injections to banks are more effective in stimulating the economy in the long run. However, in the middle of a housing debt crisis, when households are highly leveraged, the short-run output effects of the debt relief are more substantial. When the zero lower bound (ZLB) is additionally considered, the debt relief policy can be much more powerful in boosting the economy both in the short run and in the long run. Moreover, the output effects of the debt relief become increasingly larger, the longer the ZLB is binding.

JEL Codes: E17, E44, E52, E62, G21, H12.

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