NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

How Law and Institutions Shape Financial Contracts: The Case of Bank Loans

Jun Qian, Philip E. Strahan

NBER Working Paper No. 11052
Issued in January 2005
NBER Program(s):   CF

We examine empirically how legal origin, creditor rights, property rights, legal formalism, and financial development affect the design of price and non-price terms of bank loans in almost 60 countries. Our results support the law and finance view that private contracts reflect differences in legal protection of creditors and the enforcement of contracts. Loans made to borrowers in countries where creditors can seize collateral in case of default are more likely to be secured, have longer maturity, and have lower interest rates. We also find evidence, however, that ?Coasian? bargaining can partially offset weak legal or institutional arrangements. For example, lenders mitigate risks associated with weak property rights and government corruption by securing loans with collateral and shortening maturity. Our results also suggest that the choice of loan ownership structure affects loan contract terms.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11052

Published: Qian, Jun and Philip Strahan. "HOW LAWS AND INSTITUTIONS SHAPE FINANCIAL CONTRACTS: THE CASE OF BANK LOANS." Journal of Finance 62, 6 (2007): 2803-34.

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