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The Collateral Channel under Imperfect Debt Enforcement

Does a country’s ability to enforce debt contracts affect the sensitivity of economic activity to collateral values? To answer this question, we introduce a novel industry-specific measure of real asset redeployability - the ease with which real assets are transfered to alternative uses - as a proxy for collateral liquidation values. Our measure exploits the heterogeneity of expenditures in new and used capital and the heterogeneity in the composition of real asset holdings across U.S. industries. Using a cross-industry cross-country approach, we find that industry size and growth are more sensitive to collateral values in countries with weaker debt enforcement. Our estimates indicate that the differential effect is sizeable. The sensitivity of economic activity to collateral values is not affected by a country’s financial development once the quality of debt enforcement is accounted for. We then rationalize our empirical findings based on a model of credit under imperfect enforcement and discuss an important implication of our empirical result: macroeconomic volatility generated by fluctuations in collateral values is higher in countries with weaker debt enforcement institutions.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 11.11.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:1111
Contact details of provider: Postal: Studienzentrum Gerzensee, Postfach 21, 3115 Gerzensee
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Order Information: Postal: Studienzentrum Gerzensee, Postfach 21, 3115 Gerzensee

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  1. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Liquidation Values and the Credibility of Financial Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from U.S. Airlines," NBER Working Papers 14059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Menkhoff, Lukas & Neuberger, Doris & Rungruxsirivorn, Ornsiri, 2012. "Collateral and its substitutes in emerging markets’ lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 817-834.
  8. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Rampini, Adriano A., 2007. "New or used? Investment with credit constraints," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2656-2681, November.
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  10. Thomas Chaney & David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2010. "The Collateral Channel: How Real Estate Shocks Affect Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 16060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Efraim Benmelech, 2009. "Asset Salability and Debt Maturity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century American Railroads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1545-1584, April.
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  18. Simeon Djankov & Oliver Hart & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Debt Enforcement around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1105-1149, December.
  19. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Anna Ilyina & Roberto M. Samaniego, 2008. "Technology and Finance," IMF Working Papers 08/182, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Gavazza, Alessandro, 2010. "Asset liquidity and financial contracts: Evidence from aircraft leases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 62-84, January.
  22. Kee-Hong Bae & Vidhan K. Goyal, 2009. "Creditor Rights, Enforcement, and Bank Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 823-860, 04.
  23. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  24. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias Moskowitz, 2004. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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