The Cost and Benefits of the Strict Protection of Creditor Rights: Theory and Evidence
We first review the existing theories on the implications of the various regulations that protect creditors. We then empirically investigate the cost and benefits of the strict protection of creditors` rights. Building on the sample of 49 countries developed by La Porta et al. (1998), we study the impact on debt volume, interest rates and default rates of both an aggregate measure of the degree of protection of creditor rights and efficiency of the judicial system. We confirm previous results showing that an effective judicial system is crucial for the development and optimal performance of the credit market. Yet, in contrast to previous studies, we find no conclusive evidence on the sign and magnitude of the effect of creditors` rights protection on credit market efficiency. Instead, macroeconomic stability appears to be crucial for the outgrowth of wide debt markets.
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