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Liquidation Values and the Credibility of Financial Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from U.S. Airlines

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  • Efraim Benmelech
  • Nittai K. Bergman

Abstract

How do liquidation values affect financial contract renegotiation? While the 'incomplete contracting' theory of financial contracting predicts that liquidation values determine the allocation of bargaining power between creditors and debtors, there is little empirical evidence on financial contract renegotiations and the role asset values play in such bargaining. This paper attempts to fill this gap. We develop an incomplete-contracting model of financial contract renegotiation and estimate it using data on the airline industry in the United States. We find that airlines successfully renegotiate their lease obligations downwards when their financial position is sufficiently poor and when the liquidation value of their fleet is low. Our results show that strategic renegotiation is common in the airline industry. Moreover, the results emphasize the importance of the incomplete contracting perspective to real world financial contract renegotiation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14059.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: published as Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Liquidation Values and the Credibility of Financial Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from U.S. Airlines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1635-1677, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14059

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  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
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  7. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Adriano A. Rampini, 2009. "Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1621-1657, April.
  8. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias Moskowitz, 2004. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
  10. Per Stromberg, . "Conflicts of Interest and Market Illiquidity in Bankruptcy Auctions: Theory and Tests," CRSP working papers 459, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  11. Baird, Douglas G & Picker, Randal C, 1991. "A Simple Noncooperative Bargaining Model of Corporate Reorganizations," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 311-49, June.
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  16. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Collateral Pricing," NBER Working Papers 13874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Allen N. Berger & W. Scott Frame & Vasso Ioannidou, 2011. "Reexamining the empirical relation between loan risk and collateral: the roles of collateral characteristics and types," Working Paper 2011-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Alessandro Gavazza, 2011. "The Role of Trading Frictions in Real Asset Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1106-43, June.
  3. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Collateral Pricing," NBER Working Papers 13874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2011. "Fire Sales in Finance and Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 29-48, Winter.
  5. Benmelech, Efraim & Bergman, Nittai K., 2011. "Vintage capital and creditor protection," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 308-332, February.
  6. Piskorski, Tomasz & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2010. "Securitization and distressed loan renegotiation: Evidence from the subprime mortgage crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 369-397, September.
  7. Gavazza, Alessandro, 2010. "Asset liquidity and financial contracts: Evidence from aircraft leases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 62-84, January.
  8. Roberts, Michael R. & Sufi, Amir, 2009. "Renegotiation of financial contracts: Evidence from private credit agreements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 159-184, August.
  9. Juliano J. Assunção & Efraim Benmelech & Fernando S. S. Silva, 2012. "Repossession and the Democratization of Credit," NBER Working Papers 17858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rampini, Adriano A. & Sufi, Amir & Viswanathan, S., 2014. "Dynamic risk management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 271-296.
  11. Toni Beutler & Mathieu Grobéty, 2011. "The Collateral Channel under Imperfect Debt Enforcement," Working Papers 11.11, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  12. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2011. "Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 337-378, 04.
  13. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman & Ricardo Enriquez, 2011. "Negotiating with Labor Under Financial Distress," NBER Working Papers 17192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Massoud, Nadia & Nandy, Debarshi & Saunders, Anthony & Song, Keke, 2011. "Do hedge funds trade on private information? Evidence from syndicated lending and short-selling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 477-499, March.

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