NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Would Collective Action Clauses Raise Borrowing Costs?

Barry Eichengreen, Ashoka Mody

NBER Working Paper No. 7458
Issued in January 2000
NBER Program(s):   IFM

We examine the implications for borrowing costs of including collective-action clauses in loan contracts. For a sample of some 2,000 international bonds, we compare the spreads on bonds subject to UK governing law, which typically include collective-action clauses, with spreads on bonds subject to US law, which do not. Contrary to the assertions of some market participants, we find that collective-action clauses in fact reduce the cost of borrowing for more credit-worthy issuers, who appear to benefit from the ability to avail themselves of an orderly restructuring process. In contrast, less credit-worthy issuers pay, if anything, higher spreads. We conjecture that for less credit-worthy borrowers the advantages of orderly restructuring are offset by the moral hazard and default risk associated with the presence of renegotiation-friendly loan provisions.

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Published: Eichengreen, Barry and Ashoka Mody. "Do Collective Action Clauses Raise Borrowing Costs?," Economic Journal, 2004, v114(495,Apr), 247-264.

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