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The Legal Enforcement of Credit Contracts and the Level of Investment

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    Abstract

    This paper analyses the effect of the degree of the legal enforcement of credit contracts on the level of private investment. We use a model of corporate finance with moral hazard and collateralized asset. We introduce in the model a third agent: the government, which is responsible for the enforcement of credit contracts. In particular we consider the right to repossess two different types of assets in case of default: inside collateral and outside collateral. We show that the existence of credit constraints and their level depend on the degree of enforceability of creditor rights, provided by the public sector. Moreover, we find the optimal degree of legal enforcement and we investigate how it depends on the firms' wealth endowment.

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    File URL: http://www.csef.it/WP/wp57.pdf
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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 57.

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    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:57

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    Keywords: moral hazard; collateral; corporate finance; legal enforcement;

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    1. N. Berger, Allen & F. Udell, Gregory, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: The roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 613-673, August.
    2. Bianco, Magda & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2002. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 3347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Besanko, David & Thakor, Anjan V, 1987. "Collateral and Rationing: Sorting Equilibria in Monopolistic and Competitive Credit Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 671-89, October.
    4. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Andrew Powell & Marcela Cristini & Ramiro Moya, 2001. "The Importance of an Effective Legal System for Credit Markets: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3125, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    7. Bester, Helmut, 1987. "The role of collateral in credit markets with imperfect information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 887-899, June.
    8. Jeffrey Lacker, 2001. "Collateralized Debt as the Optimal Contract," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(4), pages 842-859, October.
    9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," NBER Working Papers 5879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    11. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    12. Erik BERGLÖF & Gérard ROLAND & Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN, 2000. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.12, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised Apr 2002.
    13. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Schleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2001. "Investor Protection and Corporate Governance," Working Paper Series rwp01-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    14. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
    15. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
    16. Alberto Bisin & Adriano Rampini, 2006. "Exclusive contracts and the institution of bankruptcy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 277-304, January.
    17. 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.
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