This paper investigates, both theoretically and empirically, how interactions among potential lenders may influence contract terms via informational cascade in the syndicated loan market. Our model shows that the ex-post observed interest rate is higher and the probability of syndication failure is lower when potential lenders can only observe the decisions of their predecessors versus when they can freely communicate with each other. Empirical tests confirm the model’s predictions and the existence of a cascade effect on lending conditions. Using relational distance to proxy for the segmentation of communication, we find that relational distance is positively related to the loan spread and the requirements for collateral and guarantees, but negatively related to the probability of syndication failure.
Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, forthcoming, 40(9-10),1247-1275