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Credit, Wages and Bankruptcy Laws

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  • Biais, Bruno
  • Mariotti, Thomas

Abstract

We study the impact of different bankruptcy laws in general equilibrium, taking into account the interactions between the credit and labour markets, as well as wealth heterogeneity. Soft bankruptcy laws often preclude liquidation, to avoid ex-post inefficiencies. This worsens credit rationing, depresses investment and reduces aggregate leverage. Yet, tough laws do not necessarily maximize social welfare or emerge from the legislative process. Relatively rich agents can invest irrespective of the law. They favour soft laws that exclude poorer entrepreneurs from the market and thus reduce labour demand and wages. This raises the pledgeable income of the entrepreneurs who still can raise funds, and thus lowers their liquidation rates and the associated inefficiencies. Hence, a soft law can maximize social welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3996.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3996

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Keywords: bankruptcy law; credit rationing; financial constraints;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2009. "The de Soto effect," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25429, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Ulf von Lilienfeld‐Toal & Dilip Mookherjee & Sujata Visaria, 2012. "The Distributive Impact of Reforms in Credit Enforcement: Evidence From Indian Debt Recovery Tribunals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 497-558, 03.
  3. Nicola Gennaioli & Stefano Rossi, 2012. "Contractual Resolutions of Financial Distress," Working Papers 651, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Caselli, Francesco & Gennaioli, Nicola, 2007. "Economics and Politics of Alternative Institutional Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6095, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2013034 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Franks, Julian & Sussman, Oren, 2005. "Financial innovations and corporate bankruptcy," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 283-317, July.
  7. Ondøej Knot & Ondøej Vychodil, 2005. "What Drives the Optimal Bankruptcy Law Design? (in English)," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 55(3-4), pages 110-123, March.
  8. Stephen Haber & Enrico Perotti, 2008. "The Political Economy of Financial Systems," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-045/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Janiak, Alexandre, 2013. "Structural unemployment and the costs of firm entry and exit," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 1-19.
  10. Hajime Tomura, 2007. "Firms Dynamics, Bankruptcy Laws and Total Factor Productivity," Working Papers 07-17, Bank of Canada.

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