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Debt Contract, Strategic Default, and Optimal Penalties with Judgement Errors

  • David Alary

    ()

    (University Paris Dauphine)

  • Christian Gollier

    (University of Toulouse)

We characterize the competitive equilibrium on the credit market when borrowers can strategically default. We assume that the audit is subject of errors of the two types and that lenders cannot commit ex-ante. We determine the penalty, the loan rate, the audit and strategic default probabilities. Borrowers' limited liability is endogenous when "judicial errors" exist, strategic default appears at equilibrium depending on the borrowers' absolute risk aversion. We show that at equilibrium loan contracts exhibit a penalty such that borrowers never strategically default. This is true with IARA and CARA utility function. Finally, we show that with DARA, strategic default may exist.

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Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 5 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 357-372

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2004:v:5:i:2:p:357-372
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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Simmons, Peter & G Garino, 2003. "Truth-telling and the Role of Limited Liability in Costly State Verification Loan Contracts," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 188, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
  4. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  5. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
  6. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  7. Border, Kim C & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 525-40, October.
  8. Khalil, Fahad & Parigi, Bruno M, 1998. "Loan Size as a Commitment Device," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 135-50, February.
  9. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
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