Martin Kuncl

Contact information

Bank of Canada


Research Interests

Macroeconomics and Financial Economics


Securitization under Asymmetric Information over the Business Cycle [ paper ] [ appendix ] []

This paper studies the efficiency of financial intermediation through securitization in a model with heterogeneous lending opportunities and asymmetric information about the quality of securities. Issuers of securities can signal their quality by providing recourse to security buyers. I find that signaling increases the variation in the degree of asymmetric information over the business cycle, which creates the documented growth asymmetry in the cycle. In particular, in the boom stage of the business cycle, security quality remains private information and lower-quality securities accumulate on the balance sheets of lenders. This inefficient allocation of capital implies a deeper drop in output in a subsequent recession proportional to the length of the preceding boom.

        European Economic Review 2019, Vol. 111, DOI

Working papers

Loan Insurance, Market Liquidity, and Lending Standards (with Toni Ahnert) [ paper ] []

We examine loan insurance when lenders can screen at origination, learn loan quality over time, and can sell loans in secondary markets. Loan insurance reduces lending standards but improves market liquidity. Lenders with worse screening ability insure, which commits them to not exploiting future private information about loan quality and improves the quality of uninsured loans traded. This externality implies insufficient insurance. A regulator achieves constrained efficiency by (i) guaranteeing a minimum price of uninsured loans to eliminate a welfare-dominated illiquid equilibrium; and (ii) subsidizing loan insurance in the liquid equilibrium. Our results can inform the design of government-sponsored mortgage guarantees.

        CEPR DP 14458, Bank of Canada Staff Working Paper 2019-47

The persistent macroeconomic consequences of household heterogeneity (with Alexander Ueberfeldt) [ paper ] []

We identify a sizable wealth redistribution channel which creates a monetary policy trade-off whereby short-term economic stimulus is followed by persistently lower output over the medium term. This trade-off is stronger in economies with more nominal household debt, weakened by a more aggressive monetary policy stance and under price-level targeting. Given this trade-off, low-for-long episodes can lead to persistently depressed output. The medium-term implications of the wealth redistribution channel rely on the presence of labor supply heterogeneity, which we show both analytically and in the context of an estimated New Keynesian DSGE model with household heterogeneity.

Fragility of Resale Markets for Securitized Assets and Policy of Asset Purchases [ paper ] []

Markets for securitized assets were characterized by high liquidity prior to the recent financial crisis and by a sudden market dry-up at the onset of the crisis. A general equilibrium model with heterogeneous investment opportunities and information frictions predicts that, in boom periods or mild recessions, the degree of adverse selection in resale markets for securitized assets is limited because of the reputation-based guarantees by asset originators. This supports investment and output. However, in a deep recession, characterized by high dispersion of asset qualities, there is a sudden surge in adverse selection due to an economy-wide default on reputation-based guarantees, which persistently depresses the output in the economy. Government policy of asset purchases limits the negative effects of adverse selection on the real economy, but may create a negative moral hazard problem.

        Bank of Canada Staff Working Paper 2016-46

Work in progress

In or Out: Do Bail-In Bonds Really Decrease Bailouts? (with Kinda Hachem) []

Bail-in bonds have gained a lot of attention among bank regulators. These bonds supposedly raise the hurdle for a government bailout by converting into loss-absorbing capital once the issuing bank runs into trouble. We argue that banks can short-circuit bail-in requirements by offering investors off-balance-sheet insurance against conversion. The bond itself appears as a bail-in bond on the issuer's balance sheet while the insurance is booked off balance sheet until the bond converts. The government can deter insurance provision by imposing penalties when insurance is discovered, but these penalties may not be credible. We find conditions for an equilibrium in which insurance against conversion is provided by banks and bailed out by the government rather than penalized upon discovery. We also present new empirical evidence in support of our model.

Government-backed mortgage insurance in a New-Keynesian model with moral hazard (with Sami Alpanda)

Monetary policy and macro-prudential regulation: The importance of household heterogeneity (with Alexander Ueberfeldt)

Policy papers

Assessment of the Effects of Macroprudential Tightening in Canada
Staff Analytical Note 2016-12
Potential output and the neutral rate in Canada: 2021 update (joint with D.Brouillette, G.Faucher, A.McWhirter, Y.Park) Staff Analytical Note 2021-6

The views expressed on this website are my own. No responsibility for them should be attributed to the Bank of Canada.