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When do creditor rights work?

  • Safavian, Mehnaz
  • Sharma, Siddharth
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    Creditor-friendly laws are generally associated with more credit to the private sector and deeper financial markets. But laws mean little if they are not upheld in the courts. The authors hypothesize that the effectiveness of creditor rights is strongly linked to the efficiency of contract enforcement. This hypothesis is tested using firm level data on 27 European countries in 2002 and 2005. The analysis finds that firms have more access to bank credit in countries with better creditor rights, but the association between creditor rights and bank credit is much weaker in countries with inefficient courts. Exploiting the panel dimension of the data and the fact that creditor rights change over time, the authors show that the effect of a change in creditor rights on change in bank credit increases with court enforcement. In particular, a unit increase in the creditor rights index will increase the share of bank loans in firm investment by 27 percent in a country at the 10th percentile of the enforcement time distribution (Lithuania). However, the increase will be only 7 percent in a country at the 80th percentile of this distribution (Kyrgyzstan). Legal protections of creditors and efficient courts are strong complements.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4296.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4296
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    1. Laeven, Luc & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2003. "Does judicial efficiency lower the cost of credit:," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3159, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
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    8. Bianco, Magda & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2002. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 3347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    10. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    11. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 325-368, July.
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    13. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," CID Working Papers 49, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    14. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    16. Armando Castelar Pinneiro & Célia Cabral, 1999. "Credit Markets in Brazil: The Role of Judicial Enforcement and Other Institutions," Research Department Publications 3066, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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