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Incentive Effects of Benevolent Intervention - The case of government loan guarantees

Author

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  • Paul K. Chaney

    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Anjan V. Thakor

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Abstract

There has been a substantial recent growth in government loan guarantees to ailing firms in the United States. This paper investigates the potential incentive effects of this practice. Using the simplest available two-period model, it is shown that when firms know that loan guarantees may be forthcoming, they may be induced to adopt riskier investments and take on more leverage. These perverse incentive effects imply that the actual loan-guarantees-related contingent liability of the government could be much larger than suspected. Our policy recommendation is that the government either abandon the practice altogether or set up a federal agency that sells loan guarantees to all firms at prices that depend on the riskiness of the firm's assets and its leverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul K. Chaney & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "Incentive Effects of Benevolent Intervention - The case of government loan guarantees," Finance 0411047, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0411047
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cowan, Kevin & Drexler, Alejandro & Yañez, Álvaro, 2015. "The effect of credit guarantees on credit availability and delinquency rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 98-110.
    2. Shah, Salman & Thakor, Anjan V., 1987. "Optimal capital structure and project financing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 209-243, August.
    3. William G. Gale, 1987. "The Allocational and Welfare Effects of Federal Credit Programs: A Summary," UCLA Economics Working Papers 460, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Boadway, Robin & Marceau, Nicolas & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Time-consistent subsidies to unlucky firms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 619-634, April.
    5. Athreya, Kartik B. & Tam, Xuan S. & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Loan Guarantees for Consumer Credit Markets," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 297-352.
    6. Duchin, Ran & Sosyura, Denis, 2014. "Safer ratios, riskier portfolios: Banks׳ response to government aid," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 1-28.
    7. James D. Hamilton, 2013. "Off-Balance-Sheet Federal Liabilities," NBER Working Papers 19253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Olivier Debande, 1997. "Le rôle du secteur privé dans le financement des infrastructures : une mise en perspective historique," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(2), pages 197-230.
    9. Soumaré, Issouf & Lai, Van Son, 2016. "An analysis of government loan guarantees and direct investment through public-private partnerships," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 508-519.
    10. Iichiro Uesugi & Koji Sakai & Guy M. Yamashiro, 2006. "Effectiveness of Credit Guarantees in the Japanese Loan Market," Discussion papers 06004, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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    • G - Financial Economics

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