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Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics

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Abstract

We develop a general model of lending in the presence of endogenous borrowing constraints. Borrowing constraints arise because borrowers face limited liability and debt repayment cannot be perfectly enforced. In the model, the dynamics of debt are closely linked with the dynamics of borrowing constraints. In fact, borrowing constraints must satisfy a dynamic consistency requirement: The value of outstanding debt restricts current access to short term capital, but is itself determined by future access to credit. This dynamic consistency is not guaranteed in models of exogenous borrowing constraints, where the ability to raise short term capital is limited by some prespecified function of debt. We characterize the optimal default-free contract -which minimizes borrowing constraints at all histories- and derive implications for firm growth, survival, and leverage. The model is qualitatively consistent with stylized facts on the growth and survival of firms. Comparative statics with respect to technology and default constraints are derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Rui Albuquerque & Hugo Hopenhayn, 2002. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 493, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  • Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:493
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2005. "Microeconomic Interventions after the Washington Consensus," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1550, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Albuquerque, Rui, 2003. "The composition of international capital flows: risk sharing through foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 353-383.
    3. Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2005. "Microeconomic Interventions after the Washington Consensus," Research Department Publications 4393, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. repec:idb:idbbks:416 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Erwan Quintin, 2008. "Contract enforcement and the size of the informal economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 37(3), pages 395-416, December.
    6. Gian Luca Clementi & Hugo Hopenhayn, "undated". "A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics," GSIA Working Papers 2002-E9, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    7. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Product Switching," NBER Working Papers 12293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gerard Padró I Miquel & Pierre Yared, 2012. "The Political Economy of Indirect Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 947-1015.
    9. Matthias Messner & Nicola Pavoni, 2016. "On the Recursive Saddle Point Method," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 161-173, June.
    10. Onur Ozgur, 2005. "A Model of Dynamic Liquidity Contracts," Microeconomics 0502004, EconWPA.
    11. Michael Riordan, 2003. "How Do Capital Markets Influence Product Market Competition?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 23(3), pages 179-191, December.
    12. Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2005. "Intervenciones microeconómicas después del Consenso de Washington," Research Department Publications 4394, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. Cole, Harold L., 2013. "Self-enforcing stochastic monitoring and the separation of claims," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 632-649.
    14. Galina Vereshchagina & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2009. "Risk Taking by Entrepreneurs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1808-1830, December.
    15. Wright, Mark, 2004. "Firm Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4rs4202s, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    16. Sakai, Koji & Uesugi, Iichiro & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2010. "Firm age and the evolution of borrowing costs: Evidence from Japanese small firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1970-1981, August.
    17. Harold Cole & Andrew Atkeson, 2004. "A Dynamic Theory of Optimal Capital Structure and Executive Compensation," 2004 Meeting Papers 267, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Barlevy, Gadi, 2003. "Credit market frictions and the allocation of resources over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1795-1818, November.
    19. Miguel A. Kiguel & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Arturo Galindo & Ugo Panizza & Margaret Miller & Liliana Rojas-Suárez & Ricardo N. Bebczuk & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Olver Bernal & Paula Auerbach & Alber, 2005. "Unlocking Credit: The Quest for Deep and Stable Bank Lending," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 79340, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial constraints; imperfect enforcement; firm dynamics; capital structure; debt maturity.;

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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