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Improving the Prevention of Environmental Risks with Convertible Bonds

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  • André SCHMITT
  • Sandrine SPAETER
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    Abstract

    In this paper, a manager borrows external funds in order to invest in production and also in prevention. The latter action must reduce the environmental risk driven by the activity of the firm. Prevention is observable neither by outside lenders nor by institutions such as environmental agencies for instance. In such a situation, we show that issuing convertible bonds - which permits the holder to exchange his bonds for a predetermined number of shares of the firm - from a limited liability firm could be a way to improve prevention compared to what can usually be done with standard debt. Such a relationship between the firm and the bank might be an alternative, or a complement, to the CERCLA legislation about extended liability which prevails in the United States and which is often discussed in Europe as a possible support of a more tightened European environmental legislation. We obtain an optimal convertible bond contract that induces more prevention and higher expected net revenues for the firm than standard debt. The expected social welfare is also improved. Finally, the economic implications of our findings are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2002-14.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2002-14

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    Related research

    Keywords: Moral Hazard; Environmental Risk; Limited Liability; Prevention; Convertible Bond.;

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    References

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    1. Boyer, Marcel & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1997. "Environmental risks and bank liability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1427-1459, August.
    2. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
    3. Robe, Michel A., 1999. "Optimal vs. Traditional Securities under Moral Hazard," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 161-189, June.
    4. Barnea, Amir & Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1980. " A Rationale for Debt Maturity Structure and Call Provisions in the Agency Theoretic Framework," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(5), pages 1223-34, December.
    5. Bascha, Andreas & Walz, Uwe, 2001. "Convertible securities and optimal exit decisions in venture capital finance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 285-306, September.
    6. Marcel Boyer & Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1995. "Environmental Protection, Producer Insolvency and Lender Liability," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-50, CIRANO.
    7. Chiesa, Gabriella, 1992. "Debt and warrants: Agency problems and mechanism design," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 237-254, September.
    8. Stein, Jeremy C., 1992. "Convertible bonds as backdoor equity financing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 3-21, August.
    9. Karine Gobert & Michel Poitevin, 1998. "Environmental Risks: Should Banks Be Liable?," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-39, CIRANO.
    10. Posey, Lisa Lipowski, 1993. "Limited liability and incentives when firms can inflict damages greater than net worth," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 325-330, September.
    11. Dionne, Georges & Spaeter, Sandrine, 2003. "Environmental risk and extended liability: The case of green technologies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1025-1060, May.
    12. T. Randolph Beard, 1990. "Bankruptcy and Care Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 626-634, Winter.
    13. Marco LiCalzi & Sandrine Spaeter, 2003. "Distributions for the first-order approach to principal-agent problems," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 167-173, 01.
    14. Calcagno, R., 2000. "Is Leverage Effective in Increasing Performance Under Managerial Moral Hazard?," Discussion Paper 2000-101, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    15. Dionne, Georges & Viala, Pascale, 1994. "Moral hazard, renegotiation and debt," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 113-119, October.
    16. Coestier, B., 2000. "Dynamic Financial Contract under Extended Liability," Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal- 00-08, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal-Chaire de gestion des risques..
    17. Bruno Biais & Catherine Casamatta, 1999. "Optimal Leverage and Aggregate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1291-1323, 08.
    18. Green, Richard C., 1984. "Investment incentives, debt, and warrants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 115-136, March.
    19. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. André Schmitt & Sandrine Spaeter, 2004. "Insurance and Financial Hedging of Oil Pollution Risks," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2004-05, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    2. André SCHMITT & Sandrine SPAETER, 2004. "Insurance and Financial Hedging of Oil Pollution Risks," Working Papers of BETA 2004-14, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

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