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Optimal Debt Design and the Role of Bankruptcy

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Author Info

  • Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN
  • Erik BERGLÖF
  • Gérard ROLAND

Abstract

This paper integrates the problem of designing corporate bankruptcy rules into a theory of optimal debt structure. We show that, in an incomplete-contracts framework with imperfect renegotiation, having multiple creditors increases a firm's debt capacity while increasing its incentives to default strategically. The optimal debt contract gives creditors claims that are jointly inconsistent in case of default. Bankruptcy rules, therefore, are a necessary part of the overall financing contract, to make claims consistent and to prevent a value reducing run for the assets of the firm. It is not optimal to treat creditors asymmetrically in default, but creditors may be protected by different security rights.

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File URL: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/textes/03.13.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 03.13.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:03.13

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Email:
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Related research

Keywords: bankruptcy; debt structure; contracts;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Blazy, Régis & Deffains, Bruno & Umbhauer, Gisèle & Weill, Laurent, 2013. "Severe or gentle bankruptcy law: Which impact on investing and financing decisions?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 129-144.
  2. Valentina Meliciani & Stefania Cosci, 2005. "Multiple banking Relationships and Over-Leverage in Italian Manufacturing Firms," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 87, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Lambert-Mogiliansky, Ariane & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Are Russian commercial courts biased? Evidence from a bankruptcy law transplant," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 254-277, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Shleifer, Andrei & McLiesh, Caralee & Hart, Oliver & Djankov, Simeon, 2008. "Debt Enforcement Around the World," Scholarly Articles 2961825, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Julian Franks & Oren Sussman, 2005. "Financial Distress and Bank Restructuring of Small to Medium Size UK Companies," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 65-96, 03.
  7. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2006. "Are Russian commercial courts biased?Evidence from a natural bankruptcy experiment," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590402, HAL.
  8. Gennaioli, Nicola & Rossi, Stefano, 2008. "Optimal Resolutions of Financial Distress by Contract," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-6, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Franks, Julian R & Lóránth, Gyöngyi, 2005. "A Study of Inefficient Going Concerns in Bankruptcy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Ondøej Knot & Ondøej Vychodil, 2006. "Czech Bankruptcy Procedures: Ex-post Efficiency View," Working Papers IES 2006/03, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jan 2006.
  11. Acharya, Viral V & John, Kose & Sundaram, Rangarajan K, 2005. "Cross-Country Variations in Capital Structures: The Role of Bankruptcy Codes," CEPR Discussion Papers 4916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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