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Strategic Default and Equity Risk Across Countries




We show that the prospect of a debt renegotiation favorable to shareholders reduces the firm's equity risk. Equity beta and return volatility are lower in countries where the bankruptcy code favors debt renegotiations and for firms with more shareholder bargaining power relative to debt holders. These relations weaken as the country's insolvency procedure favors liquidations over renegotiations. In the limit, when debt contracts cannot be renegotiated, equity risk is independent of shareholders' incentives to default strategically. We argue that these findings support the hypothesis that the threat of strategic default can reduce the firm's equity risk.
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Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Favara & Enrique Schroth & Philip Valta, 2012. "Strategic Default and Equity Risk Across Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(6), pages 2051-2095, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:67:y:2012:i:6:p:2051-2095
    DOI: j.1540-6261.2012.01781.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe J. GODLEWSKI & Bulat SANDITOV, 2020. "Private debt renegotiation and financial institutions' network," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2020-01, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    2. Erwan Morellec & Boris Nikolov & Norman Schürhoff, 2018. "Agency Conflicts around the World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(11), pages 4232-4287.
    3. Christophe J. Godlewski, 2019. "Debt Renegotiation and the Design of Financial Contracts," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 191-215, June.
    4. Feldhütter, Peter & Hotchkiss, Edith & Karakaş, Oğuzhan, 2016. "The value of creditor control in corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-27.
    5. Godlewski, Christophe J., 2020. "How legal and institutional environments shape the private debt renegotiation process?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    6. Nishihara, Michi & Shibata, Takashi, 2016. "Asset sale, debt restructuring, and liquidation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 73-92.
    7. Antill, Samuel & Grenadier, Steven R., 2019. "Optimal capital structure and bankruptcy choice: Dynamic bargaining versus liquidation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 198-224.
    8. Li, Keming & Lockwood, Jimmy & Miao, Hong, 2017. "Risk-shifting, equity risk, and the distress puzzle," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 275-288.
    9. Bhamra, Harjoat S. & Shim, Kyung Hwan, 2017. "Stochastic idiosyncratic cash flow risk and real options: Implications for stock returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 400-431.
    10. Christophe J. GODLEWSKI, 2017. "Initial conditions and the private debt renegotiation process," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2017-03, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    11. Favara, Giovanni & Morellec, Erwan & Schroth, Enrique & Valta, Philip, 2017. "Debt enforcement, investment, and risk taking across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 22-41.
    12. Abad, P. & Ferreras, R. & Robles, M.D., 2020. "Intra-industry transfer effects of credit risk news: Rated versus unrated rivals," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1).
    13. Assaf Eisdorfer & Amit Goyal & Alexei Zhdanov, 2018. "Distress Anomaly and Shareholder Risk: International Evidence," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 553-581, September.
    14. Kim, Gi H., 2016. "Credit derivatives as a commitment device: Evidence from the cost of corporate debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 67-83.
    15. Jiang, Jinglu & Liu, Bo & Yang, Jinqiang, 2019. "The impact of debt restructuring on firm investment: Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 325-337.
    16. Erwan Morellec & Philip Valta & Alexei Zhdanov, 2015. "Financing Investment: The Choice Between Bonds and Bank Loans," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(11), pages 2580-2602, November.
    17. Linnenluecke, Martina K. & Chen, Xiaoyan & Ling, Xin & Smith, Tom & Zhu, Yushu, 2017. "Research in finance: A review of influential publications and a research agenda," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 188-199.
    18. Drozd, Lukasz A. & Serrano-Padial, Ricardo, 2018. "Financial contracting with enforcement externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 153-189.
    19. Bostandzic, Denefa & Weiß, Gregor N.F., 2018. "Why do some banks contribute more to global systemic risk?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 35(PA), pages 17-40.
    20. Chu, Yongqiang, 2016. "Debt renegotiation and debt overhang: Evidence from lender mergers," MPRA Paper 72403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Hwa‐Sung Kim, 2020. "Investment Decisions, Debt Renegotiation Friction, and Agency Conflicts," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 493-504, June.
    22. Moraux, Franck & Silaghi, Florina, 2014. "Inside debt renegotiation: Optimal debt reduction, timing, and the number of rounds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 269-295.

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