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Control Benefits and CEO Discipline in Automatic Bankruptcy Auctions

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  • Eckbo, B Espen
  • Thorburn, Karin S

Abstract

We argue that the existence of CEO private control benefits complements managerial reputation in counteracting costly shareholder risk-shifting incentives during severe financial distress, when job-loss may be imminent. We examine this argument empirically using bankruptcy filings in Sweden, where a filing automatically terminates CEO employment and requires the firm to be sold in an open auction. The median CEO income loss is a dramatic 40%, suggesting that bankruptcy filing damages CEO reputation. Empirical proxies for both CEO reputation and control benefits are significant determinants of the probability of the CEO being rehired by the buyer in the auction, as predicted. Moreover, we find that the rehired CEOs generate a post-bankruptcy accounting performance at par with industry rivals. The surprisingly strong survival characteristics of the reorganized firms are consistent with managerial conservatism ex ante, and help alleviate creditor concern with costly asset substitution designed to delay filing in an automatic bankruptcy auction system.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3481.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3481

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Keywords: bankruptcy; CEO turnover; executive compensation; post-bankruptcy performance; private benefits of control; risk-shifting incentives;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Citci, Haluk & Inci, Eren, 2012. "The Masquerade Ball of the CEOs and the Mask of Excessive Risk," MPRA Paper 35979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Alan Schwartz, . "A Normative Theory of Business Bankruptcy," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1037, American Law & Economics Association.
  3. Anantharaman, Divya & Lee, Yong Gyu, 2014. "Managerial risk taking incentives and corporate pension policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 328-351.
  4. Steven Ongena & Kasper Roszbach & Geraldo Cerqueiro, 2012. "Collateralization, Bank Loan Rates and Monitoring: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," 2012 Meeting Papers 235, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Gary Cook & Keith Pond, 2006. "Explaining the choice between alternative insolvency regimes for troubled companies in the UK and Sweden," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 21-47, July.
  6. Albuquerque, Rui & Schroth, Enrique, 2010. "Quantifying private benefits of control from a structural model of block trades," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 33-55, April.
  7. Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S., 2009. "Creditor financing and overbidding in bankruptcy auctions: Theory and tests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 10-29, February.
  8. Fan, Joseph P.H. & Huang, Jun & Zhu, Ning, 2013. "Institutions, ownership structures, and distress resolution in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 71-87.
  9. Eckbo, B Espen & Thorburn, Karin S, 2005. "Bidding in Mandatory Bankruptcy Auctions: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4873, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Acharya, Viral V & Amihud, Yakov & Litov, Lubomir P., 2008. "Creditor Rights and Corporate Risk-taking," CEPR Discussion Papers 6697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Houston, Joel F. & Lin, Chen & Lin, Ping & Ma, Yue, 2010. "Creditor rights, information sharing, and bank risk taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 485-512, June.
  12. Espen Eckbo, B. & Thorburn, S. Karin, 2008. "Automatic bankruptcy auctions and fire-sales," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 404-422, September.
  13. Wennberg, Karl & Wiklund, Johan & DeTienne, Dawn & Cardon, Melissa, 2009. "Reconceptualizing Entrepreneurial Exit: Divergent Exit Routes and Their Drivers," Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2009:10, Stockholm School of Economics.

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