IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bel/wpaper/37.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Design of Debt Covenants and Loan Market Conditions

Author

Listed:
  • Victor Arshavskiy

Abstract

When a debt covenant is violated the lender has the right to demand immediate repayment of the loan. Using this right, the lender can extract certain concessions from the borrower (manager), which may be inefficient. I propose a theory that explains why, despite this inefficiency, tight and often violated debt covenants may be optimal. In a repeated moral hazard problem combined with an incomplete contract set-up, the debt overhang prevents the manager from exercising optimal effort. I deviate from the standard incomplete contract set-up by allowing outside market participants to observe the uncontractable outcome. I model the manager's outside option as the opportunity to refinance his debt on a competitive loan market. In this situation, the market independently evaluates the manager's performance based on observable parameters. The value of the outside option has an important impact on the covenant design. A strict covenant will severely punish the manager if his outside option is low. If the covenant is violated the lender will have control over the manager's assets and the manager will face a renegotiation game in which the lender has all the bargaining power. In this case a high outside option allows the manager to retain some rents. The manager will exercise effort to increase his chances to have a high outside option.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Arshavskiy, 2016. "Design of Debt Covenants and Loan Market Conditions," BEROC Working Paper Series 37, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
  • Handle: RePEc:bel:wpaper:37
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eng.beroc.by/webroot/delivery/files/Arshavskiy_BEROC_WP_37.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas W. Diamond & Zhiguo He, 2014. "A Theory of Debt Maturity: The Long and Short of Debt Overhang," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 719-762, April.
    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. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Debt covenants and renegotiation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 95-133, June.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 473-494.
    5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-41.
    6. Justin Murfin, 2012. "The Supply-Side Determinants of Loan Contract Strictness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(5), pages 1565-1601, October.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Ilia D. Dichev & Douglas J. Skinner, 2002. "Large–Sample Evidence on the Debt Covenant Hypothesis," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 1091-1123, September.
    10. Moyen, Nathalie, 2007. "How big is the debt overhang problem?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 433-472, February.
    11. Huberman, Gur & Kahn, Charles M, 1988. "Limited Contract Enforcement and Strategic Renegotiation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 471-484, June.
    12. Roberts, Michael R. & Sufi, Amir, 2009. "Renegotiation of financial contracts: Evidence from private credit agreements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 159-184, August.
    13. Michael R. Roberts & Amir Sufi, 2009. "Control Rights and Capital Structure: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1657-1695, August.
    14. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
    15. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-927, December.
    16. Sudheer Chava & Michael R. Roberts, 2008. "How Does Financing Impact Investment? The Role of Debt Covenants," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2085-2121, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Freudenberg, Felix & Imbierowicz, Björn & Saunders, Anthony & Steffen, Sascha, 2017. "Covenant violations and dynamic loan contracting," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 540-565.
    2. Nikolaev, Valeri V., 2018. "Scope for renegotiation in private debt contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 270-301.
    3. Wang, Jing, 2017. "Debt covenant design and creditor control rights: Evidence from the tightest covenant," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 331-352.
    4. Michael R. Roberts, 2014. "The Role of Dynamic Renegotiation and Asymmetric Information in Financial Contracting," NBER Working Papers 20484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Christophe J. GODLEWSKI, 2017. "Initial conditions and the private debt renegotiation process," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2017-03, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    6. Roberts, Michael R., 2015. "The role of dynamic renegotiation and asymmetric information in financial contracting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 61-81.
    7. Dan A. Iancu & Nikolaos Trichakis & Gerry Tsoukalas, 2017. "Is Operating Flexibility Harmful Under Debt?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(6), pages 1730-1761, June.
    8. Peter R. Demerjian, 2017. "Uncertainty and debt covenants," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 1156-1197, September.
    9. Hans B. Christensen & Valeri V. Nikolaev, 2012. "Capital Versus Performance Covenants in Debt Contracts," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 75-116, March.
    10. Gregor Matvos, 2013. "Estimating the Benefits of Contractual Completeness," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(11), pages 2798-2844.
    11. Godlewski, Christophe J., 2020. "How legal and institutional environments shape the private debt renegotiation process?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    12. Erik P. Gilje & Elena Loutskina & Daniel Murphy, 2020. "Drilling and Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(3), pages 1287-1325, June.
    13. João Pinto & Mário Coutinho dos Santos, 2014. "Corporate Financing Choices after the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 03, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    14. Nini, Greg & Smith, David C. & Sufi, Amir, 2009. "Creditor control rights and firm investment policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 400-420, June.
    15. Christophe GODLEWSKI, 2018. "The effects of bank loan renegotiation on corporate policies and performance," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2018-01, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    16. Berlin, Mitchell & Nini, Greg & Yu, Edison G., 2020. "Concentration of control rights in leveraged loan syndicates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 249-271.
    17. Roberts, Michael R. & Sufi, Amir, 2009. "Renegotiation of financial contracts: Evidence from private credit agreements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 159-184, August.
    18. Eduard Marinov, 2016. "The 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 97-149.
    19. Hollander, Stephan & Verriest, Arnt, 2016. "Bridging the gap: the design of bank loan contracts and distance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 399-419.
    20. Tan, Liang, 2013. "Creditor control rights, state of nature verification, and financial reporting conservatism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-22.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bel:wpaper:37. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Svetlana Yakubovskaya). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/berocby.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.