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Enforcement, Contract Design, and Default: Exploring the Financial Markets of Costa Rica

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  • Alexander Monge-Naranjo
  • Javier Cascante
  • Luis J. Hall

Abstract

This paper examines the institutional determinants of incentives to repay in Costa Rica and their effects on defaults and the design of financial contracts. Enforcement mechanisms help to determine how much is paid back to creditors and how much shareholders receive as dividends. Theoretically, however, the most important effects will be on the observable characteristics of contracts, as rational agents foresee the incentives of other parties. As courts enforce contracts and punish defaulters, they determine the form contracts take and the magnitude and direction of investments. The paper contains findings on the practices of financial intermediaries that are discussed in the context of contract theory, with a focus on the formal financial intermediaries that are scattered throughout the country. Much of the information comes from primary sources, including a sample of almost 1,700 civil trials and a detailed survey on the credit policies of 31 intermediaries. This paper reviews the creditor-borrower relationship at all stages—ex ante, interim, and ex post. The evidence supports the importance of collateral and other ex post repayment incentives. The evidence also suggests that, contrary to the common view, banks are not passive lenders. They remain alert to how well projects perform and rely on previous experience and a rather sophisticated informational network in granting credit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3126.

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Date of creation: May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3126

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  1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
  2. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Cole, Harold L & Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 2001. "Efficient Allocations with Hidden Income and Hidden Storage," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 523-42, July.
  4. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  5. Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 1997. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1578, David K. Levine.
  6. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  7. Phelan, Christopher & Townsend, Robert M, 1991. "Computing Multi-period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 853-81, October.
  8. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  10. Melumad, Nahum D. & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1989. "Value of communication in agencies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 334-368, April.
  11. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  12. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  13. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  14. Drew Fudenberg & Bengt Holmstrom & Paul Milgrom, 1987. "Short-Term Contracts and Long-Term Agency Relationships," Working papers 468, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Kunieda, Takuma & Shibata, Akihisa, 2011. "Collateral Constraints and Legal Protection of Lenders: A Macroeconomic Perspective," MPRA Paper 35356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2002. "Human Capital Formation with Endogenous Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 8815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephane Straub, 2004. "Informal Sector: The Credit Market Channel," ESE Discussion Papers 101, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  4. Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Luis J. Hall, 2003. "Access to Credit and the Effect of Credit Constraints on Costa Rican Manufacturing Firms," Research Department Publications 3164, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Gilberto E. Arce & Edgar Robles C., 2005. "Gobierno Corporativo en Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 3219, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Gilberto E. Arce & Edgar Robles C., 2005. "Corporate Governance in Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 3218, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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