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The Optimal Concentration of Creditors

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  • ARTURO BRIS
  • IVO WELCH

Abstract

Our model assumes that creditors need to expend resources to collect on claims. Consequently, because diffuse creditors suffer from mutual free‐riding (Holmstrom (1982)), they fare worse than concentrated creditors (e.g., a house bank). The model predicts that measures of debt concentration relate positively to creditors' (aggregate) debt collection expenditures and positively to management's chosen expenditures to resist paying. However, collection activity is purely redistributive, so social waste is larger when creditors are concentrated. If borrower quality is not known, the best firms choose the most concentrated creditors and pay higher expected yields.

Suggested Citation

  • Arturo Bris & Ivo Welch, 2005. "The Optimal Concentration of Creditors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2193-2212, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:60:y:2005:i:5:p:2193-2212
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2005.00796.x
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    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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