A Macro-Finance Model with Sentiment

Peter Maxted, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

This paper incorporates diagnostic expectations into a general equilibrium macroeconomic model with a financial intermediary sector. Diagnostic expectations are a forward-looking model of extrapolative expectations that overreact to recent news. Frictions in financial intermediation produce nonlinear spikes in risk premia and slumps in investment during periods of financial distress. The interaction of sentiment with financial frictions generates a short-run amplification effect followed by a long-run reversal effect, termed the feedback from behavioral frictions to financial frictions. The model features sentiment-driven financial crises characterized by low pre-crisis risk premia and neglected risk. The conflicting short-run and long-run effect of sentiment produces boom-bust investment cycles. The model also identifies a stabilizing role for diagnostic expectations. Under the baseline calibration, financial crises are less likely to occur when expectations are diagnostic than when they are rational.