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Discrimination in Bankruptcy Situations

Listed author(s):
  • Giménez-Gómez, José Manuel
  • Osório Costa, Antonio Miguel

In a bankruptcy situation, not all claimants are affected in the same way. In particular, some depositors may enter into a situation of personal bankruptcy if they lose part of their investments. Events of this kind may lead to a social catastrophe. We propose discrimination among the claimants as a possible solution. A fact considered in the American bankruptcy law (among others) that establishes some discrimination on the claimants, or the Santander Bank that in the Madoff’s case reimbursed only the deposits to its particular customers. Moreover, the necessity of discriminating has already been mentioned in different contexts by Young (1988), Bossert (1995), Thomson (2003) and Pulido et al. (2002, 2007), for instance. In this paper, we take a bankruptcy solution as the reference point. Given this initial allocation, we make transfers from richer to poorer with the purpose of distributing not only the personal incurred losses as evenly as possible but also the transfers in a progressive way. The agents are divided into two groups depending on their personal monetary value (wealth, net-income, GDP or any other characteristic). Then, we impose a set of Axioms that bound the maximal transfer that each net-contributor can make and each net-receiver can obtain. Finally, we define a value discriminant solution, and we characterize it by means of the Lorenz criterion. Endogenous convex combinations between solutions are also considered. Keywords: Bankruptcy, Discrimination, Compensation, Rules JEL classification: C71, D63, D71.

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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/203155.

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Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/203155
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