Price controls, or caps, can lead to shortages, as 1970’s gasoline price controls illustrate. One million trades show that the market for borrowing bonds in Canada has an implicit price cap: traders are willing to pay no more than the overnight interest rate to borrow a bond. This suggests the probability of a shortage increases when interest rates are very low.
This discussion paper is the third in the Financial Markets Department’s series on the structure of Canadian financial markets. These papers are called “ecologies” because they study the interactions among market participants, infrastructures, regulations and the terms of the traded contract itself.