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Default and Efficiency in a General Equilibrium Model with Incomplete Markets

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Abstract

We extend the standard model of general equilibrium with incomplete markets (GEI) to allow for default. Default can be either strategic, or due to ill-fortune. Agents who default are penalized to a degree proportional to the size of their default and to penalty parameters lambda. We find that under conditions similar to those necessary to guarantee the existence of GEI equilibrium, we get the existence of GEI_{lambda} equilibrium, for any lambda > 0. We argue that default is thus reasonably modeled as an equilibrium phenomenon. Moreover, we show that more lenient lambda which encourage default may be Pareto improving because they allow for better risk spreading. When default occurs, the Modigliani-Miller theorem typically fails to hold in our framework.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d08b/d0879-r.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 879R.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1988
Date of revision: Feb 1989
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:879r

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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos & Martin Shubik, 1982. "Revelation of Information in Strategic Market Games: A Critique of Rational Expectations," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 634R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Nov 1985.
  2. John Geanakoplos & Pradeep Dubey, 1989. "Liquidity and Bankruptcy with Incomplete Markets: Pure Exchange," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 900, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Baron, David P, 1976. "Default Risk and the Modigliani-Miller Theorem: A Synthesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 204-12, March.
  4. Dubey, Pradeep & Shubik, Martin, 1979. "Bankruptcy and optimality in a closed trading mass economy modelled as a non-cooperative game," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 115-134, July.
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