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Bankruptcy: Is It Enough to Forgive or Must We Also Forget?

  • Ronel Elul
  • Piero Gottardi

In many countries, lenders are restricted in their access to information about borrowers’ past defaults. We study this provision in a model of repeated borrowing and lending with moral hazard and adverse selection. We analyze its effects on borrowers’ incentives and access to credit, and identify conditions under which it is optimal. We argue that “forgetting” must be the outcome of a regulatory intervention by the government. Our model’s predictions are consistent with the cross-country relationship between credit bureau regulations and provision of credit, as well as the evidence on the impact of these regulations on borrowers’ and lenders’ behavior.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2008/41.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2008/41
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  1. Padilla, A.J. & Pagano, M., 1996. "Sharing Default Information as a Borrower Discipline Device," Papers 73, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  2. David K. Musto, 2004. "What Happens When Information Leaves a Market? Evidence from Postbankruptcy Consumers," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 725-748, October.
  3. Martin Brown & Christian Zehnder, 2007. "Credit Reporting, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1883-1918, December.
  4. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-62, August.
  5. Martin Brown & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2007. "Information Sharing and Credit: Firm-Level Evidence from Transition Countries," CSEF Working Papers 178, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  7. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 415-41, April.
  8. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2005. "Role and Effects of Credit Information Sharing," CSEF Working Papers 136, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  9. Timothy J Kehoe & David K Levine, 1993. "Debt Constrained Asset Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1276, David K. Levine.
  10. 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.
  11. Philip Bond & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2004. "Regulating Exclusion from Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 681-707, 07.
  12. Aghion, P. & Hermalin, B., 1990. "Legal Restrictions on Private Contracts Can Enhance Efficiency," DELTA Working Papers 90-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen & Zender, Jaime F., 1998. "The Design of Bankruptcy Law: A Case for Management Bias in Bankruptcy Reorganizations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 441-464, December.
  14. Jose Marin & Rohit Rahi, 1996. "Information Revelation and Market Incompleteness," Archive Working Papers 024, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  15. Dan Bernhardt & Ed Nosal, 2004. "Near-sighted Justice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2655-2684, December.
  16. Ronel Elul & Narayanan Subramanian, 2002. "Forum-Shopping and Personal Bankruptcy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 233-255, June.
  17. Rafael Rob & Arthur Fishman, 2005. "Is Bigger Better? Customer Base Expansion through Word-of-Mouth Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1146-1175, October.
  18. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1991. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Vercammen, James A, 1995. "Credit Bureau Policy and Sustainable Reputation Effects in Credit Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(248), pages 461-78, November.
  20. Cremer, Jacques, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-95, May.
  21. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation? Erratum," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 714, July.
  22. Avery, Robert B. & Bostic, Raphael W. & Samolyk, Katherine A., 1998. "The role of personal wealth in small business finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 1019-1061, August.
  23. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
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