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Improving the Prevention of Environmental Risks with Convertible Bonds


  • André SCHMITT
  • Sandrine SPAETER


In this paper, a manager borrows external funds in order to invest in production and also in prevention. The latter action must reduce the environmental risk driven by the activity of the firm. Prevention is observable neither by outside lenders nor by institutions such as environmental agencies for instance. In such a situation, we show that issuing convertible bonds - which permits the holder to exchange his bonds for a predetermined number of shares of the firm - from a limited liability firm could be a way to improve prevention compared to what can usually be done with standard debt. Such a relationship between the firm and the bank might be an alternative, or a complement, to the CERCLA legislation about extended liability which prevails in the United States and which is often discussed in Europe as a possible support of a more tightened European environmental legislation. We obtain an optimal convertible bond contract that induces more prevention and higher expected net revenues for the firm than standard debt. The expected social welfare is also improved. Finally, the economic implications of our findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • André SCHMITT & Sandrine SPAETER, 2002. "Improving the Prevention of Environmental Risks with Convertible Bonds," Working Papers of BETA 2002-14, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2002-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. BOYER, Marcel, 1995. "Environmental Protection Producer Insolvency and Lender Liability," Cahiers de recherche 9557, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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    4. GOBERT, Karine & POITEVIN, Michel, 1998. "Environmental Risk: Should Banks Be Liable?," Cahiers de recherche 9808, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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    7. Boyer, Marcel & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1997. "Environmental risks and bank liability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1427-1459, August.
    8. Stein, Jeremy C., 1992. "Convertible bonds as backdoor equity financing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 3-21, August.
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    11. Bascha, Andreas & Walz, Uwe, 2001. "Convertible securities and optimal exit decisions in venture capital finance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 285-306, September.
    12. Barnea, Amir & Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1980. " A Rationale for Debt Maturity Structure and Call Provisions in the Agency Theoretic Framework," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(5), pages 1223-1234, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. André Schmitt & Sandrine Spaeter, 2004. "Insurance and Financial Hedging of Oil Pollution Risks," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2004-05, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    2. André SCHMITT & Sandrine SPAETER, 2004. "Insurance and Financial Hedging of Oil Pollution Risks," Working Papers of BETA 2004-14, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

    More about this item


    Moral Hazard; Environmental Risk; Limited Liability; Prevention; Convertible Bond.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q29 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Other
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • 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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