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Accelerated investment effect of risky debt

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  • Lyandres, Evgeny
  • Zhdanov, Alexei

Abstract

In this paper we examine a new effect of risky debt on a firm's investment strategy. We call this effect "accelerated investment". It stems from a potential loss of investment option in the event of default. The possibility of default reduces the value of the option to wait and provides equity holders with an incentive to speed up investment. As a result, in the absence of wealth expropriation by a levered firm's debt holders, its shareholders exercise their investment option earlier than the shareholders of an otherwise identical all-equity firm. This result is at odds with the generally accepted intuition that in the absence of potential wealth transfers and taxes the shareholders of a levered firm would follow the same investment policy as that of an unlevered firm. In addition to providing various illustrations of the accelerated investment effect, we relate its magnitude to the presence of competition for investment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Lyandres, Evgeny & Zhdanov, Alexei, 2010. "Accelerated investment effect of risky debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2587-2599, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:11:p:2587-2599
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    Cited by:

    1. Sarkar, Sudipto & Zhang, Chuanqian, 2015. "Investment policy with time-to-build," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 142-156.
    2. repec:eee:jbfina:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:39-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hirth, Stefan & Uhrig-Homburg, Marliese, 2010. "Investment timing, liquidity, and agency costs of debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 243-258, April.
    4. Hori, Keiichi & Osano, Hiroshi, 2014. "Investment timing decisions of managers under endogenous contracts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 607-627.
    5. Cai, Jie & Zhang, Zhe, 2011. "Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 391-402, June.
    6. Arnold, Marc & Wagner, Alexander F. & Westermann, Ramona, 2013. "Growth options, macroeconomic conditions, and the cross section of credit risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 350-385.
    7. Tarsalewska, Monika, 2015. "The timing of mergers along the production chain, capital structure, and risk dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 51-64.
    8. Haeng-Sun Kim, 2016. "Firms’ Leverage and Export Market Participation: Evidence from South Korea," Working Papers halshs-01643899, HAL.
    9. Huang, Hsing-Hua & Huang, Hongming & Shih, Pai-Ta, 2012. "Real options and earnings-based bonus compensation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2389-2402.
    10. Haeng-Sun KIM, 2016. "Firms' leverage and export market participation: Evidence from South Korea," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 148, pages 41-58.
    11. Sudipto Sarkar & Chuanqian Zhang, 2016. "Loan-commitment borrowing and performance-sensitive debt," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 973-986, November.

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