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The pitfalls of pledgeable cash flows: soft budget constraints, zombie lending and under-investment

Dan Bernhardt (), Kostas Koufopoulos and Giulio Trigilia
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Kostas Koufopoulos: University of York
Giulio Trigilia: University of Rochester

The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics

Abstract: We show that when borrowers are privately informed about their creditworthiness and lenders have a soft budget constraint, efficient investment requires a limit on the fraction of a firm's cash flows that can be pledged to outsiders. That is, pledgeability should neither be too low nor too high. An increase in pledgeability, or, more broadly, creditor rights, can either promote re-investment in zombie firms, which increases other firms' cost of capital, or it can lead to inesufficient underinvestment, depending on the composition of equilibrium credit demand. Thus, greater pledgeability can reduce net social surplus, and even trigger a Pareto loss. JEL Classification: G21 ; G32 ; G33 ; G38

Keywords: Pledgeability; Investment efficiency; Soft budget constraint; Asymmetric information; Collateral; Zombie lending; Under-investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban and nep-cfn
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