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Financial contracting with enforcement externalities
Contract enforceability in financial markets often depends on the aggregate actions of agents. For example, high default rates in credit markets can delay legal enforcement or reduce the value of collateral, incentivizing even more defaults and potentially affecting credit supply. We develop a theory of credit provision in which enforceability of individual contracts is linked to aggregate behavior. The central element behind this link is enforcement capacity, which is endogenously determined by investments in enforcement infrastructure. Our paper sheds new light on the emergence of credit ...
The Role of Dispersed Information in Pricing Default: Evidence from the Great Recession
The recent Global Games literature makes important predictions on how financial crises unfold. We test the empirical relevance of these theories by analyzing how dispersed information affects banks' default risk. We find evidence that precise information acts as a coordination device which reduces creditors' willingness to roll over debt to a bank, thus increasing both its default risk and its vulnerability to changes in expectations. We establish two new results. First, given an unfavorable median forecast, less dispersed beliefs greatly increase default risk; this is consistent with ...
Rollover risk as market discipline: a two-sided inefficiency
Why does the market discipline that financial intermediaries face seem too weak during booms and too strong during crises? This paper shows in a general equilibrium setting that rollover risk as a disciplining device is effective only if all intermediaries face purely idiosyncratic risk. However, if assets are correlated, a two-sided inefficiency arises: Good aggregate states have intermediaries taking excessive risks, while bad aggregate states suffer from costly fire sales. The driving force behind this inefficiency is an amplifying feedback loop between asset values and market discipline. ...
The Effect of Safe Assets on Financial Fragility in a Bank-Run Model
Risk-averse investors induce competitive intermediaries to hold safe assets, thereby lowering the probability of a run and reducing financial fragility. We revisit Goldstein and Pauzner (2005), who obtain a unique equilibrium in the banking model of Diamond and Dybvig (1983) by introducing risky investment and noisy private signals. We show that, in the optimal demand-deposit contract subject to sequential service, banks hold safe assets to insure investors against investment risk. Consequently, fewer investors withdraw prematurely, which reduces the probability of a bank run. Safe asset ...
Financial Contracting with Enforcement Externalities
We study the negative feedback loop between the aggregate default rate and the efficacy of enforcement in a model of debt-financed entrepreneurial activity. The novel feature of our model is that enforcement capacity is accumulated ex ante and thus subject to depletion ex post. We characterize the effect of shocks that deplete enforcement resources on the aggregate default rate and credit supply. In the model default decisions by entrepreneurs are strategic complements, leading to multiple equilibria. We propose a global game selection to overcome equilibrium indeterminacy and show how shocks ...
Credit Enforcement Cycles
Empirical evidence suggests that widespread financial distress, by disrupting enforcement of credit contracts, can be self-propagatory and adversely affect the supply of credit. We propose a unifying theory that models the interplay between enforcement, borrower default decisions, and the provision of credit. The central tenets of our framework are the presence of capacity constrained enforcement and borrower heterogeneity. We show that, despite heterogeneity, borrowers tend to coordinate their default choices, leading to fragility and to credit rationing. Our model provides a rationale for ...