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Debt maturity, risk, and asymmetric information

  • Allen N. Berger
  • Marco A. Espinosa-Vega
  • W. Scott Frame
  • Nathan H. Miller

We test the implications of Flannery's (1986) and Diamond's (1991) models concerning the effects of risk and asymmetric information in determining debt maturity, and we examine the overall importance of informational asymmetries in debt maturity choices. We employ data on over 6,000 commercial loans from 53 large U.S. banks. Our results for low-risk firms are consistent with the predictions of both theoretical models, but our findings for high-risk firms conflict with the predictions of Diamond's model and with much of the empirical literature. Our findings also suggest a strong quantitative role for asymmetric information in explaining debt maturity.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-60.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-60
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  1. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Banks, Short Term Debt and Financial Crises: Theory, Policy Implications and Applications," NBER Working Papers 7764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-37, August.
  3. Flannery, Mark J, 1986. " Asymmetric Information and Risky Debt Maturity Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 19-37, March.
  4. Jayant R. Kale & Thomas H. Noe, 1990. "Risky Debt Maturity Choice In A Sequential Game Equilibrium," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 13(2), pages 155-166, 06.
  5. Mitchell, Karlyn, 1993. "The Debt Maturity Choice: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 16(4), pages 309-20, Winter.
  6. Frame, W Scott & Srinivasan, Aruna & Woosley, Lynn, 2001. "The Effect of Credit Scoring on Small-Business Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 813-25, August.
  7. Boot, A.W.A. & Thakor, A.V. & Udell, G.F., 1987. "Competition, risk neutrality and loan commitments," Research Memorandum afd7b491-7ac6-41c8-8cae-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  8. Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Maturity Structure of Corporate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 609-31, June.
  9. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
  10. Brick, Ivan E & Ravid, S Abraham, 1985. " On the Relevance of Debt Maturity Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(5), pages 1423-37, December.
  11. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Kanatas, George, 1985. "Asymmetric Valuations and the Role of Collateral in Loan Agreements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(1), pages 84-95, February.
  12. Berkovitch, Elazar & Greenbaum, Stuart I., 1991. "The Loan Commitment as an Optimal Financing Contract," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 83-95, March.
  13. Allen N. Berger, 2004. "Potential competitive effects of Basel II on banks in SME credit markets in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Mitchell Berlin & Loretta J. Mester, 1992. "Debt covenants and renegotiation," Working Papers 92-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Guedes, Jose & Opler, Tim, 1996. " The Determinants of the Maturity of Corporate Debt Issues," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1809-33, December.
  16. Frederick C. Scherr & Heather M. Hulburt, 2001. "The Debt Maturity Structure of Small Firms," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 30(1), Spring.
  17. Stohs, Mark Hoven & Mauer, David C, 1996. "The Determinants of Corporate Debt Maturity Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(3), pages 279-312, July.
  18. Donald Morgan & Adam Ashcraft, 2003. "Using Loan Rates to Measure and Regulate Bank Risk: Findings and an Immodest Proposal," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 181-200, October.
  19. Ortiz-Molina, H. & Penas, M.F., 2004. "Lending to Small Businesses : The Role of Loan Maturity in Adressing Information Problems," Discussion Paper 2004-99, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  20. Mark Carey S. & Stephen Prowse & John Rea & Gregory Udell, 1993. "The economics of the private placement market," Staff Studies 166, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  22. Dennis, Steven & Nandy, Debarshi & Sharpe, Lan G., 2000. "The Determinants of Contract Terms in Bank Revolving Credit Agreements," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 87-110, March.
  23. Berlin, Mitchell & Loeys, Jan, 1988. " Bond Covenants and Delegated Monitoring," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 397-412, June.
  24. Barnea, Amir & Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1980. " A Rationale for Debt Maturity Structure and Call Provisions in the Agency Theoretic Framework," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(5), pages 1223-34, December.
  25. Shane A. Johnson, 2003. "Debt Maturity and the Effects of Growth Opportunities and Liquidity Risk on Leverage," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(1), pages 209-236.
  26. repec:dgr:kubcen:200499 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Karlyn Mitchell, 1993. "The Debt Maturity Choice: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 16(4), pages 309-320, December.
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