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Optimal Debt Contracts when Credit Managers are (Perhaps) Corruptible


  • Ingela Alger

    () (Boston College)


The paper derives the optimal organizational response of a bank (the principal) which faces a risk of collusion between the credit manager (the agent) and the credit-seeking firms. The bank can deter collusion either through internal incentives or by distorting the credit contracts. The model thus explicitly takes into account the interaction between internal (collusion) risks and external (default) risks in the optimal design of the internal organization as well as of the credit contracts. We investigate this question in two settings. In the first one, we adopt the standard assumption that the agent is always willing to collude (is corruptible) if that increases his monetary payoff. In the second one, he is corruptible with some probability only, and honest otherwise. A novel feature of our approach is to allow for screening among corruptible and honest agents. We find that if the probability that the agent is honest is sufficiently large, collusion occurs in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingela Alger, 2006. "Optimal Debt Contracts when Credit Managers are (Perhaps) Corruptible," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 648, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:648

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1999. "Separation of Regulators Against Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 232-262, Summer.
    2. Daron Acemoglu, 1994. "Monitoring and Collusion: "Carrots" versus "Sticks" in the Control of Auditors," Working papers 94-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1998. "Collusion and Delegation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 280-305, Summer.
    4. Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 1997. "The Regulation of Predatory Firms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 425-451, June.
    5. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
    6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1988. "Hidden Gaming in Hierarchies: Facts and Models," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(187), pages 295-306, December.
    7. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    8. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-656, May.
    9. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
    10. Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 1997. "The Regulation of Predatory Firms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 849-876, December.
    11. Khalil, Fahad & Lawarree, Jacques, 1995. "Collusive Auditors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 442-446, May.
    12. Douglas Gale & Martin Hellwig, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 647-663.
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