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The Commitment Problem of Secured Lending

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The paper investigates optimal financial contracts when investment in pledgeable assets is endogenous and not observable to financiers. In a setting with uncertainty, two inputs with different collateral value and investment unobservability, we show that a firm-bank secured credit contract is time-inconsistent: Once credit has been granted, the entrepreneur has an ex-post incentive to alter the input combination towards the input with low collateral value and higher productivity, thus jeopardizing total bank revenues. Anticipating the entrepreneur's opportunism, the bank offers a non-collateralized credit contract, thereby reducing the surplus of the venture. One way for the firm to commit to the contract terms is to purchase inputs on credit and pledge them to the supplier in case of default. Observing the input investment and having a stake in the bad state, the supplier acts as a guarantor that the input combination specified in the bank contract will be actually purchased and that the entrepreneur will stick to the contract terms. The paper concludes that: (1) Buying inputs on account facilitates the access to collateralized bank financing; (2) Firms using both trade credit and collateralized bank finance invest more in pledgeable assets than firms only using uncollateralized bank credit. Our results are robust to the possibility of collusion between entrepreneur and supplier.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 318.

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Date of creation: 09 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:318

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Keywords: collateral; commitment; trade credit; bank financing;

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  1. Chee K. Ng & Janet Kiholm Smith & Richard L. Smith, 1999. "Evidence on the Determinants of Credit Terms Used in Interfirm Trade," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 1109-1129, 06.
  2. Brennan, Michael J & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Zechner, Josef, 1988. " Vendor Financing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1127-41, December.
  3. Yuk-Shee Chan & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "Collateral and Competitive Equilibria with Moral Hazard and Private Information," Finance 0411019, EconWPA.
  4. Ferris, J Stephen, 1981. "A Transactions Theory of Trade Credit Use," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 243-70, May.
  5. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Kanatas, George, 1985. "Asymmetric Valuations and the Role of Collateral in Loan Agreements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(1), pages 84-95, February.
  6. S. Viswanathan & Adriano Rampini, 2009. "Collateral and Capital Structure," 2009 Meeting Papers 525, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Nicholas Wilson & Barbara Summers, 2002. "Trade Credit Terms Offered by Small Firms: Survey Evidence and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3&4), pages 317-351.
  8. Daniela Fabbri & Anna Maria Cristina Menichini, 2005. "Trade Credit, Collateral Liquidation and Borrowing Constraints," CSEF Working Papers 146, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 08 Feb 2009.
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