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Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt

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  • Oliver Hart
  • John Moore

Abstract

We analyze the role of debt in persuading an entrepreneur to pay out cash flows, rather than to divert them. In the first part of the paper we study the optimal debt contract -- specifically, the trade-off between the size of the loan and the repayment -- under the assumption that some debt contract is optimal. In the second part we consider a more general class of (non-debt) contracts, and derive sufficient conditions for debt to be optimal among these.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5907
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56.
    3. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    6. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1995. "The Role of Games in Security Design," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(2), pages 327-367.
    7. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    8. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-862, August.
    9. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    10. Huberman, Gur & Kahn, Charles M., 1988. "Strategic renegotiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 117-121.
    11. 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.
    12. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1989. "Repudiation and Renegotiation: The Case of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 3-31, February.
    13. Erik Berglöf & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1994. "Short-Term versus Long-Term Interests: Capital Structure with Multiple Investors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1055-1084.
    14. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
    15. Franklin Allen, 1983. "Credit Rationing and Payment Incentives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 639-646.
    16. 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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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