Elizabeth Tashjian

With respect to the overall theme of my research program, I am interested in the subtle features of two types of securities: futures contracts and debt contracts. In theory, a futures or debt contract can be defined quite simply: e.g., a futures contract may be defined as an agreement to buy an asset at a specific date in the future at a specific price, while a debt contract may be defined as an agreement to repay a lender a specified amount of money on a specific date.

In practice, futures contracts contain a complex combination of a simple futures contract and assorted options, giving the contracts' participants significant flexibility in satisfying the terms of the contract. Most of my research in futures contracts involves exploring why these features exist either theoretically or empirically.

My work on debt contracts explores empirically the outcomes of firms experiencing financial distress. The debt renegotiation process can be viewed as a bargaining problem between the debtor corporation and its creditors, where the outcome depends on the complexity of the bargaining problem and the incentives of the parties to settle or hold out for better terms. In this context, a workout represents a consensual solution between the debtor and a sufficiently large coalition of creditors. Since failure to achieve a workout generally results in a bankruptcy filing, the bargaining environment is shaped by the threat of and rules governing bankruptcy.

Information on specific research projects can be found on my curriculum vitae.

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Last updated 6 January 2000