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Optimal Property Rights in Financial Contracting

Author

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  • Kenneth Ayotte
  • Patrick Bolton

Abstract

This article adopts a definition of property rights from legal scholarship: A property right (in contrast to a contractual right) is enforceable, not only against the parties to a contract, but also against third parties outside the contract. In a financial contracting setting, we ask: When should the law enforce a lender's contractual protections as property rights, given that these rights may be hidden and costly for other lenders to discover? Our model explains why the law limits the creation and enforceability of property rights, and develops principles of optimal enforceability. These principles are often reflected in the law. The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Ayotte & Patrick Bolton, 2011. "Optimal Property Rights in Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3401-3433.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:24:y:2011:i:10:p:3401-3433
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhr053
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    3. Alberto Bisin & Adriano Rampini, 2006. "Exclusive contracts and the institution of bankruptcy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(2), pages 277-304, January.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    6. Hansmann, Henry & Kraakman, Reinier, 2002. "Property, Contract, and Verification: The Numerus Clausus Problem and the Divisibility of Rights," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 373-420, June.
    7. Bizer, David S & DeMarzo, Peter M, 1992. "Sequential Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 41-61, February.
    8. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    9. Alan Schwartz, 1997. "Priority Contracts and Priority in Bankruptcy," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm72, Yale School of Management.
    10. Avery Katz, 1990. "Your Terms or Mine? The Duty to Read the Fine Print in Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 518-537, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Carmine Guerriero & Zhenxing Huang, 2016. "The Property-Contract Balance," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(1), pages 40-64, March.
    2. Arruñada, Benito, 2017. "Property as sequential exchange: the forgotten limits of private contract," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 753-783, December.
    3. Benito Arruñada & Giorgio Zanarone & Nuno Garoupa, 2017. "Property rights in sequential exchange," Economics Working Papers 1588, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. repec:eee:jfinin:v:30:y:2017:i:c:p:107-121 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law

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