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Optimal capital structure, bargaining, and the supplier market structure


  • Chu, Yongqiang


This paper studies the relationship between firm leverage and supplier market structure. We find that firm leverage decreases with the degree of competition between suppliers. Specifically, leverage decreases with the elasticity of substitution between suppliers. Leverage also decreases with the number of suppliers when the elasticity of substitution is high, and increases with the number of suppliers when the elasticity is low. We also provide empirical evidence that is consistent with the model predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Yongqiang, 2012. "Optimal capital structure, bargaining, and the supplier market structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 411-426.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:106:y:2012:i:2:p:411-426 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.05.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
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    4. Leland, Hayne E, 1994. " Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-1252, September.
    5. David A. Matsa, 2010. "Capital Structure as a Strategic Variable: Evidence from Collective Bargaining," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1197-1232, June.
    6. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, August.
    7. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard Stanton & Josef Zechner, 2010. "Human Capital, Bankruptcy, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 891-926, June.
    8. Koeniger Winfried & Licandro Omar, 2006. "On the Use of Substitutability as a Measure of Competition," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-9, March.
    9. Fan, Joseph P H & Lang, Larry H P, 2000. "The Measurement of Relatedness: An Application to Corporate Diversification," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 629-660, October.
    10. Kale, Jayant R. & Shahrur, Husayn, 2007. "Corporate capital structure and the characteristics of suppliers and customers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 321-365, February.
    11. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    12. Stephen G. Bronars & Donald R. Deere, 1991. "The Threat of Unionization, the Use of Debt, and the Preservation of Shareholder Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 231-254.
    13. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    14. Hennessy, Christopher A. & Livdan, Dmitry, 2009. "Debt, bargaining, and credibility in firm-supplier relationships," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 382-399, September.
    15. Dasgupta, Sudipto & Sengupta, Kunal, 1993. "Sunk Investment, Bargaining and Choice of Capital Structure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 203-220, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernini, Michele & Guillou, Sarah & Bellone, Flora, 2015. "Financial leverage and export quality: Evidence from France," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 280-296.
    2. Oliveira, Mauro & Kadapakkam, Palani-Rajan & Beyhaghi, Mehdi, 2017. "Effects of customer financial distress on supplier capital structure," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 131-149.
    3. João Teixeira, 2014. "Outsourcing with debt financing," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 13(1), pages 1-24, April.
    4. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:07:y:2017:i:04:n:s2010139217500148 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Capital structure; Suppliers; Bargaining; Relation-specific investment;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games


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