Using an overlapping-generations growth model featuring financial intermediation, I find that inefficiencies in technology to deal with private debt distress (bankruptcy technology), and obstacles to entrepreneurship (high costs of doing business) have significant negative effects on the income per capita and welfare of developing countries. These inefficiencies may also interact in perverse ways, futher amplifying the negagtive effects in the long run. The results provide strong rationale for structural reforms that simultaneously speed up the resolution of private sector insolvency, improve creditor protection, and eliminate obstacles to entrepreneurship.
Financial innovation has increased diversification opportunities and lowered investment costs, but has not reduced the relative cost of active (informed) investment strategies relative to passive (less informed) strategies. What are the consequences? I study an economy with linear production technologies, some more risky than others. Investors can use low quality public information or collect high quality, but costly, private information. Information helps avoiding excessively risky investments. Financial innovation lowers the incentives for private information collection and deteriorates public information: the economy invests more often in excessively risky technologies. This changes the business cycle properties and can reduce welfare by increasing the likelihood of "liquidation crises"