Cattle cycles: is there a role for a financial accelerator?
The hypotheses that endogenous credit constraints based on fluctuating asset values and cash flow prolong and accentuate US cattle cycles; and that more diversified cow-calf firms are less affected by this phenomenon are tested. Breeding cattle inventories are an interesting example to study credit constraints because they are among the most cyclical of economic time-series, firms have heterogeneous diversification levels, and they avoid many of the problems with previous investment-cash flow sensitivities studies noted by Kaplan and Zingales. The results are consistent with earlier credit constraint studies, i.e. breeding cattle inventories are sensitive to shifting credit constraint regimes and cow-calf firms with higher diversification levels are less affected by credit constraints.