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The Legal Enforcement of Credit Contracts and the Level of Investment

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Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of the degree of the legal enforcement of credit contracts on the level of private investment. We use a model of corporate finance with moral hazard and collateralized asset. We introduce in the model a third agent: the government, which is responsible for the enforcement of credit contracts. In particular we consider the right to repossess two different types of assets in case of default: inside collateral and outside collateral. We show that the existence of credit constraints and their level depend on the degree of enforceability of creditor rights, provided by the public sector. Moreover, we find the optimal degree of legal enforcement and we investigate how it depends on the firms' wealth endowment.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Fabbri, 2001. "The Legal Enforcement of Credit Contracts and the Level of Investment," CSEF Working Papers 57, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:57
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    1. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
    2. Jeffrey Lacker, 2001. "Collateralized Debt as the Optimal Contract," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(4), pages 842-859, October.
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    4. N. Berger, Allen & F. Udell, Gregory, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: The roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 613-673, August.
    5. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    6. Alberto Bisin & Adriano Rampini, 2006. "Exclusive contracts and the institution of bankruptcy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(2), pages 277-304, January.
    7. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and The Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-691.
    8. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    9. Andrew Powell & Marcela Cristini & Ramiro Moya, 2001. "The Importance of an Effective Legal System for Credit Markets: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3125, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    10. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    11. Besanko, David & Thakor, Anjan V, 1987. "Collateral and Rationing: Sorting Equilibria in Monopolistic and Competitive Credit Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 671-689, October.
    12. Bester, Helmut, 1987. "The role of collateral in credit markets with imperfect information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 887-899, June.
    13. 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.
    14. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco & Bianco, Magda, 2005. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 223-244, April.
    15. Jeffrey Lacker, 2001. "Collateralized Debt as the Optimal Contract," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(4), pages 842-859, October.
    16. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Erik BERGLÖF & Gérard ROLAND & Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN, 2000. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.12, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised Apr 2002.
    18. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-855, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felix Lopez-Iturriaga & Juan Antonio Rodriguez-Sanz, 2008. "Capital structure and institutional setting: a decompositional and international analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(14), pages 1851-1864.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    moral hazard; collateral; corporate finance; legal enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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