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Dynamic Adverse Selection and Debt

  • Chemla, Gilles
  • Faure-Grimaud, Antoine

In many long-term relationships, parties may be reluctant to reveal their private information in order to benefit from their informational advantage in the future. We point out that the strategic use of debt by an uninformed party induces another party to reveal private information. Our argument, which is consistent with casual observation, is based on the idea that (renegotiable) debt is a credible commitment to end the long-term relationship if information is not revealed. We show that the strategic advantage of debt increases with good durability and we briefly address the financing decision of a regulated firm.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2037.

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Date of creation: Dec 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2037
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  1. Oliver D. Hart & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 509-540.
  2. 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.
  3. Perotti, Enrico C & Spier, Kathryn E, 1993. "Capital Structure as a Bargaining Tool: The Role of Leverage in Contract Renegotiation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1131-41, December.
  4. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  5. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1990. " Capital Structure and the Informational Role of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 321-49, June.
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  7. Patrick Bolton & David S Scharfstein, 1993. "Optimal Debt Structure with Multiple Creditors," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0032, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
  8. Jensen, Michael C, 1988. "Takeovers: Their Causes and Consequences," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-48, Winter.
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  10. Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1994. "Financial policy, internal control, and performance Sealed Air Corporation's leveraged special dividend," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 157-192, October.
  11. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1792, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "Corporate Financial Structure and Managerial Incentives," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-79, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  13. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  14. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  15. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  16. Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
  17. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
  20. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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