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Bankruptcy rules and debt contracting: on the relative efficiency of absolute priority, proportionate priority, and first-come, first-served rules


  • Stanley D. Longhofer


An analysis showing that allowing creditors to "run" on a firm in financial distress is socially valuable, since it compensates them for monitoring the firm's condition; in contrast, strict adherence to absolute and proportionate priority rules allows lenders to free ride on the monitoring efforts of others, exacerbating the firm's moral hazard problem.

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  • Stanley D. Longhofer, 1994. "Bankruptcy rules and debt contracting: on the relative efficiency of absolute priority, proportionate priority, and first-come, first-served rules," Working Paper 9415, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:9415

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Aghion & Oliver D. Hart & John Moore, 1994. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," NBER Chapters,in: The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2: Restructuring, pages 215-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Boyd, John H & Smith, Bruce D, 1993. "The Equilibrium Allocation of Investment Capital in the Presence of Adverse Selection and Costly State Verification," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(3), pages 427-451, July.
    3. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Debt covenants and renegotiation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 95-133, June.
    4. Douglas W Diamond, 1992. "Bank Loan Maturity and Priority when Borrowers can Refinance," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0022, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
    5. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Charles W. Calomiris & Charles M. Kahn & Stefan Krasa, 1991. "Optimal contingent bank liquidation under moral hazard," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation 91-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-488, May.
    9. Berkovitch, Elazar & Kim, E Han, 1990. " Financial Contracting and Leverage Induced Over- and Under-Investment Incentives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 765-794, July.
    10. Allan C. Eberhart & Lemma W. Senbet, 1993. "Absolute Priority Rule Violations and Risk Incentives for Financially Distressed Firms," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 22(3), Fall.
    11. Dionne, G. & Viala, P., 1992. "Optimal Design of Financial Contracts and Moral Hazard," Cahiers de recherche 9219, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
    12. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    13. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
    14. Krasa, Stefan & Villamil, Anne P, 1994. "Optimal Multilateral Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(2), pages 167-187, March.
    15. Eberhart, Allan C & Moore, William T & Roenfeldt, Rodney L, 1990. " Security Pricing and Deviations from the Absolute Priority Rule in Bankruptcy Proceedings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1457-1469, December.
    16. Douglas W. Diamond, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-737.
    17. Michael C. Jensen, 1991. "Corporate Control And The Politics Of Finance," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 13-34.
    18. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    19. Gertner, Robert & Scharfstein, David, 1991. " A Theory of Workouts and the Effects of Reorganization Law," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1189-1222, September.
    20. Michelle J. White, 1980. "Public Policy Toward Bankruptcy: Me-First and Other Priority Rules," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 550-564, Autumn.
    21. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
    22. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    23. Douglas Gale & Martin Hellwig, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 647-663.
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