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Optimal Debt Structure with Multiple Creditors

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  • Patrick Bolton
  • David S Scharfstein

Abstract

Within an optimal contracting framework we analyse some important aspects of debt structure: the number of creditors a company borrows from; the allocation of security interests among creditors; and inter-creditor covenants that govern renegotiation of debt contracts. The key to our analysis is the idea that debt structure affects the outcome of debt renegotiation following a default. Debt structures that lead to ineffecient renegotiation are beneficial in that they deter default, but they are also costly if default is beyond a manager's control. The optimal debt structure balances these effects. We characterize how the optimal debt structure depends on firm characteristics such as technology, credit rating and the market for its assets.

Suggested Citation

  • 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..
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprfm:0032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2005. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1121-1154.
    2. Robert H. Gertner & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 4776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Olsen, Trond E. & Torsvik, Gaute, 1995. "Intertemporal common agency and organizational design: How much decentralization?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1405-1428, August.
    4. Demirguc-Kunt, Asl1 & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 1996. "Institutions, financial markets, and firms'choice of debt maturity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1686, The World Bank.
    5. Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN & Erik BERGLÖF & Gérard ROLAND, 2003. "Optimal Debt Design and the Role of Bankruptcy," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 03.13, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    6. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 1999. "Institutions, financial markets, and firm debt maturity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 295-336, December.
    7. Chemla, G. & Faure-Grimaud, A., 1996. "Dynamic Adverse Selection and Debt," Papers 96.443, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
    8. Douglas W. Diamond, 1994. "Corporate capital structure: the control roles of bank and public debt with taxes and costly bankruptcy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 11-37.
    9. Caprio, Gerard, Jr & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 1998. "The Role of Long-Term Finance: Theory and Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 171-189, August.
    10. Chevalier, Judith A & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Countercyclical Markups: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 703-725, September.
    11. Manove, M. & Padilla, A.J. & Pagano, M., 1998. "Collateral vs. Project Screening: a Model of Lazy Banks," Papers 9807, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
    12. Gordon M Phillips & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1996. "Efficiency of Bankrupt Firms and Industry Conditions: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 96-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Wandel, Jürgen, 2011. "Integrierte Strukturen im Agrar- und Ernährungssektor Russlands: Entstehungsgründe, Funktionsweise, Entwicklungsperspektiven und volkswirtschaftliche Auswirkungen. Band I und II," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 63, number 63, December.

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