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Debt, investment, and product market competition: A note on the limited liability effect

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  • Clayton, Matthew J.
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    Abstract

    This paper extends a model by Brander and Lewis [Brander, J., Lewis, T., 1986. Oligopoly and financial structure: The limited liability effect. American Economic Review 76, 956-970] on the relationship between capital structure, investment and product market competition based on the limited liability effect of debt. Empirical papers (see for example Campello [Campello, M., 2003. Capital structure and product markets interactions: Evidence from business cycles. Journal of Financial Economics 68, 353-378], and Chevalier [Chevalier, J., 1995a. Capital structure and product market competition: Empirical evidence from the supermarket industry. American Economic Review 85, 415-435; Chevalier, J., 1995b. Do LBO supermarkets charge more? An empirical analysis of the effect of LBOs on supermarket pricing. Journal of Finance 50, 1095-1112]) generally reject the limited liability theories in favor of the predatory theories because leverage leads to less investment and weaker product market competition. This paper shows that when firms also have an investment choice, leverage can lead to weaker product market competition in a limited liability model. In addition, non-zero leverage is still optimal within this model based solely on the limited liability effect. In predatory models debt is motivated by issues outside of product market concerns, for example to solve an agency problem. Finally, this model is also consistent with the investment decisions documented empirically.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 694-700

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:33:y:2009:i:4:p:694-700

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    Related research

    Keywords: Leverage Investment Imperfect competition Commitment;

    References

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    1. Berger, Allen N. & Bonaccorsi di Patti, Emilia, 2006. "Capital structure and firm performance: A new approach to testing agency theory and an application to the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1065-1102, April.
    2. Alderson, Michael J. & Betker, Brian L. & Stock, Duane R., 2006. "Investment and financing activity following calls of convertible bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 895-914, March.
    3. Chevalier, Judith A, 1995. "Capital Structure and Product-Market Competition: Empirical Evidence from the Supermarket Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 415-35, June.
    4. Kedia, Simi, 2006. "Estimating product market competition: Methodology and application," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 875-894, March.
    5. Campello, Murillo, 2003. "Capital structure and product markets interactions: evidence from business cycles," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 353-378, June.
    6. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    7. Lin, Chen-Miao & Phillips, Richard D. & Smith, Stephen D., 2008. "Hedging, financing, and investment decisions: Theory and empirical tests," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1566-1582, August.
    8. Kovenock, D. & Phillips, G.M., 1995. "Capital Structure and Product Market Behavior: An Examination of Plant Exit and Investment Decisions," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 313.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    9. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    10. Phillips, Gordon M., 1995. "Increased debt and industry product markets An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 189-238, February.
    11. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. "The effects of management buyouts on operating performance and value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 217-254.
    12. Matthew J. Clayton & S. Abraham Ravid, 2002. "The Effect of Leverage on Bidding Behavior: Theory and Evidence from the FCC Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 723-750.
    13. Matthew J. Clayton & Bjorn N. Jorgensen, 2005. "Optimal Cross Holding with Externalities and Strategic Interactions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1505-1522, July.
    14. Chevalier, Judith A, 1995. " Do LBO Supermarkets Charge More? An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of LBOs on Supermarket Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1095-1112, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Akdoğu, Evrim & MacKay, Peter, 2012. "Product markets and corporate investment: Theory and evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 439-453.
    2. Kayo, Eduardo K. & Kimura, Herbert, 2011. "Hierarchical determinants of capital structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 358-371, February.

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