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Moral Hazard and Debt Maturity

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  • Huberman, Gur
  • Repullo, Rafael

Abstract

We present a model of the maturity of a bank's uninsured debt. The bank borrows funds and chooses afterwards the riskiness of its assets. This moral hazard problem leads to an excessive level of risk. Short-term debt may have a disciplining effect on the bank's risk-shifting incentives, but it may lead to inefficient liquidation. We characterize the conditions under which short-term and long-term debt are feasible, and show circumstances under which only short-term debt is feasible and under which short-term debt dominates long-term debt when both are feasible. Thus, short-term debt may have the salutary effect of mitigating the moral hazard problem and inducing lower risk-taking. The results are consistent with key features of the common narrative of the period preceding the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Huberman, Gur & Repullo, Rafael, 2014. "Moral Hazard and Debt Maturity," CEPR Discussion Papers 9930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9930
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inefficient liquidation; Long-term debt; Optimal financial contracts; Risk-shifting; Rollover risk; Short-term debt;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • 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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