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What discount rate should bankruptcy judges use? Estimates from Canadian reorganization data

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  • Barthlmy, Fabrice
  • Fisher, Timothy C.G.
  • Martel, Jocelyn

Abstract

Using data from financial reorganization plans filed by insolvent Canadian firms, we estimate the discount rate implicit in the unsecured creditors' reorganization decision. Using (HARA) utility functions, we find the implicit monthly discount rate of creditors to be 4.9%, which corresponds to an annual discount rate of 77%. This is 7-10 times higher than discount rates used in previous empirical studies of reorganization. The discount rate estimates are robust to a range of assumptions about the degree of risk aversion and the market-to-book-value ratio of assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Barthlmy, Fabrice & Fisher, Timothy C.G. & Martel, Jocelyn, 2009. "What discount rate should bankruptcy judges use? Estimates from Canadian reorganization data," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 67-72, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:1:p:67-72
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    6. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
    7. F. Barthelemy & T. C.G. Fisher & J. Martel, 2004. "Estimates of Creditors' Discount Rates in Court-Supervised Reorganisation Decisions," THEMA Working Papers 2004-16, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    8. T.C.G. Fisher & J. Martel, 2000. "Empirical Estimates of Filtering Failure in Court-Supervised reorganization," THEMA Working Papers 2000-45, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    9. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
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