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Asymmetric Information, Auditing Commitment and Economic Growth

  • Ho, Wai-Hong
  • Wang, Yong

We analyze in this paper the growth and welfare consequences arising from the lack of auditing commitment in a credit market with costly state verification. Specifically, two endogenous growth models, of which one allows lenders to commit to costly auditing strategies to identify borrowers' investment returns and the other does not, are compared. We show that the inability to commit acts as an additional source of informational friction that leads to more stringent contractual terms, which in turn result in lower capital accumulation, growth, and welfare. In addition, when a tax on capital is considered, the tax-induced investment distortions are amplified by the absence of auditing commitment. From the policy perspective, our analysis can be interpreted as suggesting a new micro-economic channel through which institutional failings hinder economic growth and social welfare.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17469.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17469
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  1. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Steve, 1998. "Debt Contracts and Financial Intermediation with Costly Screening," Staff General Research Papers 5086, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 1998. "Credit Market Imperfections, Income Distribution, and Capital Accumulation," Staff General Research Papers 5105, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Williamson, Stephen D, 1987. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 135-45, February.
  4. Wai-Hong Ho & Yong Wang, 2005. "Public capital, asymmetric information, and economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 57-80, February.
  5. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Some Consequences Of Credit Rationing In An Endogenous Growth Model," RCER Working Papers 159, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  8. Levine, Ross, 1999. "Law, Finance, and Economic Growth," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(1-2), pages 8-35, January.
  9. Beck, T.H.L. & Levine, R., 2005. "Legal institutions and financial development," Other publications TiSEM 428ff33a-eb07-45c7-bee9-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Graetz, Michael J & Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
  11. Khalil, Fahad & Parigi, Bruno M, 1998. "Loan Size as a Commitment Device," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 135-50, February.
  12. Cheng Wang & Stephen D. Williamson, 1998. "Debt Contracts with Financial Intermediation with Costly Screening," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 573-595, August.
  13. Williamson, Stephen D., 1986. "Costly monitoring, financial intermediation, and equilibrium credit rationing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-179, September.
  14. Ho, Wai-Hong & Wang, Yong, 2007. "Factor income taxation and growth under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 775-789, April.
  15. Bose, Niloy & Cothren, Richard, 1996. "Equilibrium loan contracts and endogenous growth in the presence of asymmetric information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 363-376, October.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  17. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
  18. Bose, Niloy & Cothren, Richard, 1997. "Asymmetric Information and Loan Contracts in a Neoclassical Growth Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 423-39, November.
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