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Contract Design for Problem Asset Disposition


  • Larry Benveniste
  • Dennis R. Capozza
  • Roger Kormendi
  • William Wilhelm


As a result of declining real estate values and the receivership of numerous financial institutions, government regulators like the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have large inventories of distressed assets. This paper develops a model of the principal/agent issues associated with management and disposition of problem assets. In the model, optimal contracts balance risk sharing with incentives for effort. We argue that the RTC will minimize the ultimate cost of the thrift crisis by placing managerial control of distressed assets in the private sector, while retaining full or partial ownership of the assets for risk-sharing purposes. Recoveries are maximized, however, only when an asset manager is incented to expend a first-best level of effort by indexing asset management and disposition contracts to market movements. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry Benveniste & Dennis R. Capozza & Roger Kormendi & William Wilhelm, 1994. "Contract Design for Problem Asset Disposition," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(1), pages 149-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:22:y:1994:i:1:p:149-167

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rosen, Harvey S., 1985. "Housing subsidies: Effects on housing decisions, efficiency, and equity," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 375-420 Elsevier.
    2. Ermisch, John & Di Salvo, Pamela, 1997. "The Economic Determinants of Young People's Household Formation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 627-644, November.
    3. Masnick, George S., 2001. "The New Demographics of Housing," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt9668w1w4, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    4. Boyes, William J. & Hoffman, Dennis L. & Low, Stuart A., 1989. "An econometric analysis of the bank credit scoring problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-14, January.
    5. Haurin Donald R. & Hendershott Patric H. & Kim Dongwook, 1994. "Housing Decisions of American Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 28-45, January.
    6. Ermisch, John, 1999. "Prices, Parents, and Young People's Household Formation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 47-71, January.
    7. Haurin, Donald R & Hendershott, Patric H & Kim, Dongwook, 1993. "The Impact of Real Rents and Wages on Household Formation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 284-293, May.
    8. Donald R. Haurin & R. Jean Haurin & Steven Garasky, 2001. "Group living decisions as youths transition to adulthood," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 329-349.
    9. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1986. "Household formation, housing prices, and public policy impacts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 145-164, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. David E. M. Sappington & Tracy R. Lewis, 2000. "Motivating Wealth-Constrained Actors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 944-960, September.

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