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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 7 (December 2013)

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Debt Contracts with Partial Commitment

Article Citation

Kovrijnykh, Natalia. 2013. "Debt Contracts with Partial Commitment." American Economic Review, 103(7): 2848-74.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.7.2848

Abstract

This paper analyzes a dynamic lending relationship where the borrower cannot be forced to make repayments, and the lender offers long-term contracts that are imperfectly enforced and repeatedly renegotiated. No commitment and full commitment by the lender are special cases of this model where the probability of enforcement equals zero and one, respectively. I show that an increase in the degree of enforcement can lower social welfare. Furthermore, properties of equilibrium investment dynamics with partial commitment drastically differ from those with full and no commitment. In particular, investment is positively related to cash flow, consistent with empirical findings.

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Online Appendix (176.20 KB) | Download Data Set (32.27 KB) | Author Disclosure Statement(s) (14.24 KB)

Authors

Kovrijnykh, Natalia (AZ State U)

JEL Classifications

D82: Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
D86: Economics of Contract: Theory
G21: Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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