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Control benefits and CEO discipline in automatic bankruptcy auctions

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  • Espen Eckbo, B.
  • Thorburn, Karin S.

Abstract

We argue that the existence of CEO private control benefits complements managerial reputation in counteracting costly shareholder risk-shifting incentives during severe financial distress, when job-loss may be imminent. We examine this argument empirically using bankruptcy filings in Sweden, where a filing automatically terminates CEO employment and requires the firm to be sold in an open auction. The median CEO income loss is a dramatic 40%, suggesting that bankruptcy filing damages CEO reputation. Empirical proxies for both CEO reputation and control benefits are significant determinants of the probability of the CEO being rehired by the buyer in the auction, as predicted. Moreover, we find that the rehired CEOs generate a post-bankruptcy accounting performance at par with industry rivals. The surprisingly strong survival characteristics of the reorganized firms are consistent with managerial conservatism ex ante, and help alleviate creditor concern with costly asset substitution designed to delay filing in an automatic bankruptcy auction system.
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  • Espen Eckbo, B. & Thorburn, Karin S., 2003. "Control benefits and CEO discipline in automatic bankruptcy auctions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 227-258, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:69:y:2003:i:1:p:227-258
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    Cited by:

    1. Citci, Sadettin Haluk & Inci, Eren, 2016. "The masquerade ball of the CEOs and the mask of excessive risk," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 383-393.
    2. Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S., 2009. "Creditor financing and overbidding in bankruptcy auctions: Theory and tests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 10-29, February.
    3. Albuquerque, Rui & Schroth, Enrique, 2010. "Quantifying private benefits of control from a structural model of block trades," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 33-55, April.
    4. repec:spr:busres:v:10:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40685-016-0041-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cerqueiro, G.M. & Ongena, S. & Roszbach, K., 2011. "Collateralization, Bank Loan Rates and Monitoring : Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper 2011-087, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Espen Eckbo, B. & Thorburn, S. Karin, 2008. "Automatic bankruptcy auctions and fire-sales," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 404-422, September.
    7. Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S., 2004. "Bidding in mandatory bankruptcy auctions: Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers 2004/16, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    8. Acharya, Viral V. & Amihud, Yakov & Litov, Lubomir, 2011. "Creditor rights and corporate risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 150-166, October.
    9. Gary Cook & Keith Pond, 2006. "Explaining the choice between alternative insolvency regimes for troubled companies in the UK and Sweden," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 21-47, July.
    10. Alan Schwartz, "undated". "A Normative Theory of Business Bankruptcy," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1037, American Law & Economics Association.
    11. Kim, Kyonghee & Patro, Sukesh & Pereira, Raynolde, 2017. "Option incentives, leverage, and risk-taking," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-18.
    12. B. Espen Eckbo & Karin S. Thorburn, 2009. "Bankruptcy as an Auction Process: Lessons from Sweden," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 21(3), pages 38-52.
    13. Eckbo, B. Espen & Thorburn, Karin S. & Wang, Wei, 2016. "How costly is corporate bankruptcy for the CEO?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 210-229.
    14. Anantharaman, Divya & Lee, Yong Gyu, 2014. "Managerial risk taking incentives and corporate pension policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 328-351.
    15. Ongena, Steven & Cerqueiro, Geraldo & Roszbach, Kasper, 2016. "Collateral damage? On collateral, corporate financing and performance," Working Paper Series 1918, European Central Bank.
    16. Wennberg, Karl & Wiklund, Johan & DeTienne, Dawn R. & Cardon, Melissa S., 2010. "Reconceptualizing entrepreneurial exit: Divergent exit routes and their drivers," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 361-375, July.
    17. Shah, Hamid Ali & Shah, Attaullah, 2016. "The relationship between judicial efficiency and corporate cash holdings: An international study," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 448-462.
    18. Fan, Joseph P.H. & Huang, Jun & Zhu, Ning, 2013. "Institutions, ownership structures, and distress resolution in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 71-87.
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    20. Salvatore Piccolo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2014. "Debt, Managers and Cartels," CSEF Working Papers 365, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    21. repec:cte:wbrepe:wb1501 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Arturo Bris & Ivo Welch & Ning Zhu, 2005. "The Costs of Bankruptcy," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2375, Yale School of Management, revised 21 Sep 2009.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law

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