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Enforcement frictions and optimal lending contracts

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  • Latchezar Popov

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Abstract

I consider an environment in which contract enforcement is a decision variable for the principal. I construct a model in which entrepreneurs cannot commit to repaying investors for the capital advanced, but investors can force repayment by spending resources. The principal uses enforcement to reduce the resources available to the agent after a default, thus providing incentives for the agent to stay in the relationship. She also ensures contract compliance by backloading the payments to the agent: expected utility rises over time, preventing a default. I consider an application of the framework developed in the paper to the area of firm dynamics. I show that enforcement and backloading are always used jointly. Firm size (measured by capital) grows with time and each firm converges to the efficient size. A second application is to the field of economic development. Costlier enforcement leads to the choice of sub-optimal technology; secondly, it leads to inefficient dispersion of capital across establishments. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Latchezar Popov, 2014. "Enforcement frictions and optimal lending contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 57(1), pages 195-222, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:57:y:2014:i:1:p:195-222
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-014-0803-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Hoddenbagh & Mikhail Dmitriev, 2017. "The Financial Accelerator and the Optimal State-Dependent Contract," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 43-65, March.
    2. V. Filipe Martins-da-Rocha & Yiannis Vailakis, 2017. "On the sovereign debt paradox," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(4), pages 825-846, December.
    3. Stephane Verani, 2018. "Aggregate Consequences of Dynamic Credit Relationships," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 44-67, July.
    4. Antinolfi, Gaetano & Carli, Francesco, 2015. "Costly monitoring, dynamic incentives, and default," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 105-119.
    5. Stephane Verani, 2018. "Aggregate Consequences of Dynamic Credit Relationships," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 44-67, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Costly enforcement; Lending contracts; Economic development; Firm dynamics; D87; O16; O43;

    JEL classification:

    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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