IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_2313.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bankruptcy: Is it enough to Forgive or must we also Forget?

Author

Listed:
  • Ronel Elul
  • Piero Gottardi

Abstract

In many countries, lenders are not permitted to use information about past defaults after a specified period of time has elapsed. We model this provision and determine conditions under which it is optimal. We develop a model in which entrepreneurs must repeatedly seek external funds to finance a sequence of risky projects under conditions of both adverse selection and moral hazard. Forgetting a default typically makes incentives worse, ex-ante, because it reduces the punishment for failure. However, following a default it may be good to forget, because by improving an entrepreneur’s reputation, forgetting increases the incentive to exert effort to preserve this reputation. Our key result is that if (i) borrowers’ incentives are sufficiently strong, (ii) their average quality is not too low, (iii) the output loss from low effort is not too large, and (iv) agents are sufficiently patient, then the optimal law would prescribe some amount of forgetting — that is, it would not permit lenders to fully utilize past information. We also argue that forgetting must be the outcome of a regulatory intervention by the government — no lender would willingly agree to ignore information available to him. Finally, we show that the predictions of our model are consistent with the cross-country relationship between credit bureau reporting regulations and the provision of credit, as well as Musto (2004)’s evidence on the impact of these regulations on individual borrower and lender behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronel Elul & Piero Gottardi, 2008. "Bankruptcy: Is it enough to Forgive or must we also Forget?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2313, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2313
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2313.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pagano, Marco & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1693-1718, December.
    2. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
    3. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen & Zender, Jaime F., 1998. "The Design of Bankruptcy Law: A Case for Management Bias in Bankruptcy Reorganizations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 441-464, December.
    4. Brown, Martin & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2009. "Information sharing and credit: Firm-level evidence from transition countries," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 151-172, April.
    5. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 415-441.
    6. David K. Musto, 2004. "What Happens When Information Leaves a Market? Evidence from Postbankruptcy Consumers," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 725-748, October.
    7. Rafael Rob & Arthur Fishman, 2005. "Is Bigger Better? Customer Base Expansion through Word-of-Mouth Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1146-1175, October.
    8. Philip Bond & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2004. "Regulating Exclusion from Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 681-707.
    9. Ronel Elul & Narayanan Subramanian, 2002. "Forum-Shopping and Personal Bankruptcy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 21(3), pages 233-255, June.
    10. Padilla, A. Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Sharing default information as a borrower discipline device," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1951-1980, December.
    11. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 865-888.
    12. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    13. Dan Bernhardt & Ed Nosal, 2003. "Nearsighted justice," Working Papers (Old Series) 0304, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Nicola Jentzsch, 2006. "The Economics and Regulation of Financial Privacy," Contributions to Economics, Springer, number 978-3-7908-1738-6, February.
    15. Vercammen, James A, 1995. "Credit Bureau Policy and Sustainable Reputation Effects in Credit Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(248), pages 461-478, November.
    16. José M. Marín & Rohit Rahi, 2000. "Information Revelation and Market Incompleteness," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 563-579.
    17. Jacques Crémer, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-295.
    18. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2005. "Role and Effects of Credit Information Sharing," CSEF Working Papers 136, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    19. Martin Brown & Christian Zehnder, 2007. "Credit Reporting, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1883-1918, December.
    20. Avery, Robert B. & Bostic, Raphael W. & Samolyk, Katherine A., 1998. "The role of personal wealth in small business finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 1019-1061, August.
    21. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-381, July.
    22. Aghion, Philippe & Hermalin, Benjamin, 1990. "Legal Restrictions on Private Contracts Can Enhance Efficiency," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 381-409, Fall.
    23. Aghion, Philippe & Hermalin, Benjamin, 1990. "Why Legal Restrictions on Private Contracts Can Enhance Efficiency," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4j76f10g, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    24. Dan Bernhardt & Ed Nosal, 2004. "Near-sighted Justice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2655-2684, December.
    25. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-862, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Exler, Florian & Livshits, Igor & MacGee, Jim & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "Consumer Credit with Over-Optimistic Borrowers," CEPR Discussion Papers 15570, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Cahn, Christophe & Girotti, Mattia & Landier, Augustin, 2021. "Entrepreneurship and information on past failures: A natural experiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 102-121.
    3. Kaya, Ayça & Roy, Santanu, 2022. "Market screening with limited records," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 106-132.
    4. Exler, Florian & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "Consumer Debt and Default: A Macroeconomic Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 14425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Dominik Gutt & Jürgen Neumann & Wael Jabr & Dennis Kundisch, 2020. "The Fate of the App: Economic Implications of Updating under Reputation Resetting," Working Papers Dissertations 76, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    6. Cyril Monnet & Erwan Quintin, 2018. "Optimal Exclusion," 2018 Meeting Papers 181, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Saengchote, Kanis & Tirapat, Sunti, 2017. "What happens when we forget? The effect of removing adverse information on access to credit," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 96-99.
    8. Satyajit c & Dean Corbae & Kyle Dempsey & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2020. "A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    9. Bond, Philip & Newman, Andrew F., 2009. "Prohibitions on punishments in private contracts," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 526-540, October.
    10. Marieke Bos & Emily Breza & Andres Liberman, 2018. "The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(6), pages 2005-2037.
    11. Margherita Bottero & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2013. "Limited credit records and market outcomes," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 903, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Exler, Florian & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "Consumer Debt and Default: A Macro Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 12966, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Francesco Decarolis & Giancarlo Spagnolo & Riccardo Pacini, 2016. "Past Performance and Procurement Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 22814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Kalyvas, Antonios Nikolaos & Mamatzakis, Emmanuel, 2017. "Do creditor rights and information sharing affect the performance of foreign banks?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 13-35.
    15. Daniel Monte & Roberto Pinheiro, 2017. "Costly Information Intermediation as a Natural Monopoly," Working Papers 17-21R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    16. Nicolás de Roux, 2021. "Exogenous shocks, credit reports and access to credit: Evidence from colombian coffee producers," Documentos CEDE 019769, Universidad de los Andes – Facultad de Economía – CEDE.
    17. Fujimoto, Junichi & Lee, Junsang, 2020. "Optimal self-financing microfinance contracts when borrowers have risk aversion and limited commitment," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 60-79.
    18. Sergei Kovbasyuk & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2016. "Memory and Markets," EIEF Working Papers Series 1606, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Oct 2017.
    19. Marieke Bos & Leonard I. Nakamura, 2012. "Should defaults be forgotten? Evidence from legally mandated removal," Working Papers 12-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    20. Lance Palmer & Vibha Bhargava, 2018. "Forms of Wealth Associated with Attaining Peer Group Net Worth Following Bankruptcy," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 99(1), pages 97-117, March.
    21. Carlos Madeira, 2020. "The impact of information laws on consumer credit access: evidence from Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 873, Central Bank of Chile.
    22. Tal Gross & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Jialan Wang, 2016. "The Marginal Propensity to Consume Over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 22518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Andres Liberman & Christopher Neilson & Luis Opazo & Seth Zimmerman, 2018. "The Equilibrium Effects of Information Deletion: Evidence from Consumer Credit Markets," NBER Working Papers 25097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Andres Liberman & Christopher A. Neilson & Luis Opazo & Seth Zimmerman, 2019. "Equilibrium Effects of Asymmetric Information on Consumer Credit Markets," Working Papers 2019-7, Princeton University. Economics Department..

    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. Behr, Patrick & Sonnekalb, Simon, 2012. "The effect of information sharing between lenders on access to credit, cost of credit, and loan performance – Evidence from a credit registry introduction," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 3017-3032.
    2. Marieke Bos & Leonard I. Nakamura, 2014. "Should defaults be forgotten? Evidence from variation in removal of negative consumer credit information," Working Papers 14-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Kalyvas, Antonios Nikolaos & Mamatzakis, Emmanuel, 2017. "Do creditor rights and information sharing affect the performance of foreign banks?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 13-35.
    4. Baah Aye Kusi & Elikplimi Komla Agbloyor & Vera Ogeh Fiador & Kofi Achampong Osei, 2016. "Does Information Sharing Promote or Detract from Bank Returns: Evidence from Ghana," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 28(3), pages 332-343, September.
    5. Christa Hainz, 2011. "Measuring Information Sharing in Credit Markets," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(1), pages 21-27, 05.
    6. Brown, Martin & Zehnder, Christian, 2010. "The emergence of information sharing in credit markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-278, April.
    7. Karapetyan, Artashes & Stacescu, Bogdan, 2014. "Does information sharing reduce the role of collateral as a screening device?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 48-57.
    8. Brown, Martin & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2009. "Information sharing and credit: Firm-level evidence from transition countries," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 151-172, April.
    9. Sharma, Priyanka, 2017. "Is more information always better? A case in credit markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 269-283.
    10. Shaofeng Zhang & Wei Xiong & Wancheng Ni & Xin Li, 2015. "Value of big data to finance: observations on an internet credit Service Company in China," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, December.
    11. Notheisen, Benedikt & Weinhardt, Christof, 2019. "The blockchain, plums, and lemons: Information asymmetries & transparency in decentralized markets," Working Paper Series in Economics 130, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Management.
    12. Gama, Ana Paula Matias & Duarte, Fábio Dias & Esperança, José Paulo, 2017. "Why discouraged borrowers exist? An empirical (re)examination from less developed countries," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 19-41.
    13. Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2009. "Reputation and Credit Market Formation: How Relational Incentives and Legal Contract Enforcement Interact," IZA Discussion Papers 4351, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Samuel Fosu & Albert Danso & Henry Agyei-Boapeah & Collins G. Ntim & Emmanuel Adegbite, 2020. "Credit information sharing and loan default in developing countries: the moderating effect of banking market concentration and national governance quality," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 55-103, July.
    15. Inessa Love & Maria Soledad Martinez Peria & Sandeep Singh, 2014. "Collateral Registries for Movable Assets: Does Their Introduction Spur Firms' Access to Bank Finance?," Working Papers 201422, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    16. Marieke Bos & Emily Breza & Andres Liberman, 2018. "The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(6), pages 2005-2037.
    17. Nicola Gennaioli & Stefano Rossi, 2010. "Judicial Discretion in Corporate Bankruptcy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(11), pages 4078-4114, November.
    18. Alberto Bennardo & Marco Pagano & Salvatore Piccolo, 2015. "Multiple Bank Lending, Creditor Rights, and Information Sharing," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(2), pages 519-570.
    19. Martin Brown & Christian Zehnder, 2007. "Credit Reporting, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1883-1918, December.
    20. Laptieva, Nataliia, 2016. "Information sharing and the volume of private credit in transition: Evidence from Ukrainian bank-level panel dataAuthor-Name: Grajzl, Peter," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 434-449.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bankruptcy; information; incentives; fresh start;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law

    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:ces:ceswps:_2313. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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.