Debt and Product Market Fragility
AbstractThis paper studies the interplay between corporate leverage and product pricing when liquidation is costly for customers. I develop a model which illustrates that highly leveraged firms can enter a vicious circle in which financial distress and sales drops are re--enforcing. There is a "good'' equilibrium in which the firm is in good financial shape. However, when leverage is excessive there is also "bad'' equilibrium in which consumers' pessimistic perceptions about the firm's financial health become self-fulfilling. Moreover, whenever the "bad'' equilibrium exists the "good'' equilibrium is highly fragile in that a small shock can trigger a spiral of sales drops. I show that the firm can avoid the "bad'' equilibrium by not fully exercising market power (i.e. cutting prices) and reducing leverage. The model sheds light on why highly leveraged companies often face severe sales drops and how price cuts and debt restructurings can help to restore customer confidence.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 00.21.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
More information through EDIRC
debt; liquidation costs; business policy and financing decisions; market fragility;
Other versions of this item:
- Stefan Arping, 2000. "Debt and Product Market Fragility," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1227, Econometric Society.
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
- L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 1996. "Competition for Deposits, Fragility, and Insurance," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 184-216, April.
- 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.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997.
"Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1792, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-41, February.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 321, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
- 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.
- Gilson, Stuart C., 1989. "Management turnover and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 241-262, December.
- Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
- Opler, Tim C & Titman, Sheridan, 1994. " Financial Distress and Corporate Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1015-40, July.
- Kovenock, Dan & Phillips, Gordon M, 1997.
"Capital Structure and Product Market Behavior: An Examination of Plant Exit and Investment Decisions,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 767-803.
- 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).
- Dan Kovenock & Gordon M Phillips, 1995. "Capital Structure and Product Market Behavior: An Examination of Plant Exit and Investment Decisions," Working Papers 95-4, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
- Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
- Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
- Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
- Hendel, Igal, 1996. "Competition under Financial Distress," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 309-24, September.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000.
"Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
- Purnanandam, Amiyatosh, 2008. "Financial distress and corporate risk management: Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 706-739, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Claudine Delapierre Saudan).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.