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Collateralized debt as the optimal contract

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  • Jeffrey M. Lacker

Abstract

In a simple risk-sharing environment with ex post private information, conditions are found under which a collateralized debt contract is the optimal allocation. The critical condition for optimality is that the borrower values the collateral good more highly than does the lender; otherwise the optimal contract does not resemble debt. Limited collateral can give rise to an endogenous borrowing constraint, driving a further wedge between the intertemporal marginal rates of substitution of the borrower and the lender. I argue that perhaps all debt contracts are implicitly collateralized.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 98-04.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Publication status: Published in Also published as 90-3R2
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:98-04

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Keywords: Debt;

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  1. Williamson, Stephen D, 1987. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 135-45, February.
  2. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  3. Timothy Curry & Joseph Blalock & Rebel Cole, 1991. "Recoveries on Distressed Real Estate and The Relative Efficiency of Public versus Private Management," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515.
  4. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
  5. Lacker, J.M., 1989. "Optimal Contracts Under Costly State Falsification," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 956, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  6. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 2010. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria With Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2069, David K. Levine.
  8. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1976. "The Loan Market, Collateral, and Rates of Interest," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 8(4), pages 439-56, November.
  10. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  12. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  13. Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
  14. Jeffrey M. Lacker, 1989. "Limited commitment and costly enforcement," Working Paper 90-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  15. Benjamin, Daniel K, 1978. "The Use of Collateral to Enforce Debt Contracts," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 333-59, July.
  16. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1974. "Limited Knowledge and Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 1-10, March.
  17. Cheng Wang & Stephen D. Williamson, 1998. "Debt Contracts with Financial Intermediation with Costly Screening," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 573-595, August.
  18. Boyd, John H & Smith, Bruce D, 1994. "How Good Are Standard Debt Contracts? Stochastic versus Nonstochastic Monitoring in a Costly State Verification Environment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 539-61, October.
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