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Economics of bankruptcy exemption: Signaling value of collateral, cost of credit and access to credit

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  • P. Arca

    ()

  • G. Atzeni

    ()

  • LG Deidda

    ()

Abstract

We analyze the effect of a bankruptcy law according to which some of the borrower's assets are exempt from liquidation in the event of default in the context of a competitive credit market characterized either by moral hazard (MH) or by adverse selection (AS). In particular, we study how the level of such exemption affects the role of collateral depending on the dominant source of asymmetric information. Under MH, conditional on the level of exemption, the cost of credit is higher for borrowers who are requested to post collateral. Moreover, conditional on posting collateral, the cost of credit does not change with the level of asset exemption. Differently, in the case of AS, the decision to post collateral results in a lower cost of credit, whenever the equilibrium is separating. Finally, under AS, a higher level of exemption is generally associated with a lower level of credit rationing. Similarly, credit rationing either stays unchanged or goes down with exemption in the case of MH. We exploit cross State variability in the level of asset exemption from liquidation – according to personal bankruptcy US State laws prior to 2005 federal reform – in order to identify the signaling role played by collateral in a sample of american small business taken from the SBFF data.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Arca & G. Atzeni & LG Deidda, 2013. "Economics of bankruptcy exemption: Signaling value of collateral, cost of credit and access to credit," Working Paper CRENoS 201302, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201302
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
    2. Ken Cavalluzzo & John Wolken, 2005. "Small Business Loan Turndowns, Personal Wealth, and Discrimination," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2153-2178, November.
    3. Anderson, Ronald C. & Mansi, Sattar A. & Reeb, David M., 2003. "Founding family ownership and the agency cost of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 263-285, May.
    4. Besanko, David & Thakor, Anjan V, 1987. "Collateral and Rationing: Sorting Equilibria in Monopolistic and Competitive Credit Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 671-689, October.
    5. Berger, Allen N. & Cerqueiro, Geraldo & Penas, María F., 2011. "Does debtor protection really protect debtors? Evidence from the small business credit market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1843-1857, July.
    6. Lin, Emily Y. & White, Michelle J., 2001. "Bankruptcy and the Market for Mortgage and Home Improvement Loans," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 138-162, July.
    7. G. S. Maddala & Lung-Fei Lee, 1976. "Recursive Models with Qualitative Endogenous Variables," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 525-545 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Fan, Wei & White, Michelle J, 2003. "Personal Bankruptcy and the Level of Entrepreneurial Activity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 543-567, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    signal; screening; moral hazard; exemption levels; collateral; bankruptcy;

    JEL classification:

    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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