36 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2007
Date Written: January 2007
We examine how collateral affects the cost of debt capital. Theories based on borrower moral hazard and limited pledgeable income predict that collateral increases the availability of credit and reduces its price. Testing these theories is complicated by the very selection problem which they imply: creditors will demand collateral precisely from those borrowers who are riskier. This selection problem leads to a positive relation in the data between the presence of collateral and the loan yield. Analyzing the extensive margin of collateral use, therefore, masks the hypothesized negative impact that collateral exhibits on debt yields. To alleviate this problem, we analyze the intensive, rather than extensive, margin of collateral use. We construct a novel data set of secured credit issued by U.S. airlines. Our results show that debt tranches that are secured by more redeployable collateral exhibit higher credit ratings and lower credit spreads. Our results suggest that the ability to pledge collateral, and in particular redeployable collateral, lowers the cost of external financing.
Keywords: Collateral, Secured debt, Redeployability, Airlines
JEL Classification: G31, G33,
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation