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The Structure of Multiple Credit Relationships: Evidence from US Firms

  • Luigi Guiso
  • Raoul Minetti

When firms borrow from multiple concentrated creditors such as banks they appear to differentiate their allocation of borrowing. In this paper, we put forward hypotheses for this borrowing pattern based on incomplete contract theories and test them using a sample of small U.S. firms. We find that firms with more valuable, more redeployable, and more homogeneous assets differentiate borrowing more sharply across their concentrated creditors. We also find that borrowing differentiation is inversely related to restructuring costs and positively related to firms’ informational transparency. This evidence supports the predictions of incomplete contract theories: the structure of credit relationships appears to be used as a device to discipline creditors and entrepreneurs, especially during corporate reorganizations.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/46.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/46
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  1. Ivo Welch & Bris, Arturo, 2001. "The Optimal Concentration of Creditors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1338, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2002.
  2. Alessandro Penati & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Efficiency and Distribution in Financial Restructuring: The Case of the Ferruzzi Group," CRSP working papers 466, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. Ralf Elsas & Frank Heinemann & Marcel Tyrell, 2004. "Multiple but Asymmetric Bank Financing: The Case of Relationship Lending," Working Paper Series: Finance and Accounting 141, Department of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
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  8. Elena Carletti & Vittoria Cerasi & Sonja Daltung, 2004. "Multiple-bank lending: diversification and free-riding in monitoring," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24702, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. von Rheinbaben, Joachim & Ruckes, Martin, 2004. "The number and the closeness of bank relationships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1597-1615, July.
  10. Guiso, Luigi, 1998. "High-tech firms and credit rationing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 39-59, March.
  11. Holmström, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," IDEI Working Papers 40, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
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  18. Enrica Detragiache & Paolo Garella & Luigi Guiso, 2000. "Multiple versus Single Banking Relationships: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1133-1161, 06.
  19. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:3:p:1121-1154 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Oliver Hart, 2001. "Financial Contracting," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1079-1100, December.
  21. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias Moskowitz, 2004. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Franz Hubert & Dorothea Schäfer, 2002. "Coordination Failure with Multiple-Source Lending, the Cost of Protection Against a Powerful Lender," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(2), pages 256-, June.
  23. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  24. Guiso, Luigi & Minetti, Raoul, 2004. "Multiple Creditors and Information Rights: Theory and Evidence from US Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. 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 351-81, July.
  26. Yosha Oved, 1995. "Information Disclosure Costs and the Choice of Financing Source," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 3-20, January.
  27. Elsas, Ralf, 2005. "Empirical determinants of relationship lending," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 32-57, January.
  28. Gilson, Stuart C. & John, Kose & Lang, Larry H. P., 1990. "Troubled debt restructurings*1: An empirical study of private reorganization of firms in default," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 315-353, October.
  29. Manove, Michael & Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2001. "Collateral versus Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 726-44, Winter.
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