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Debt, bargaining, and credibility in firm-supplier relationships

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  • Hennessy, Christopher A.
  • Livdan, Dmitry

Abstract

We examine optimal leverage for a downstream firm relying on implicit (self-enforcing) contracts with a supplier. Performing a leveraged recapitalization prior to bargaining increases the firm's share of total surplus. However, the resulting debt overhang limits the range of credible bonuses, resulting in low input quality. Optimal financial structure trades off bargaining benefits of debt with inefficiency resulting from overhang. Consistent with empirical evidence, the model predicts that leverage increases with supplier bargaining power (e.g., unionization rates) and decreases with utilization of non-verifiable inputs (e.g., human capital).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:93:y:2009:i:3:p:382-399
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Dinev, Nikolay, 2017. "Voluntary Bankruptcy as Preemptive Persuasion," Economics Series 334, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    3. 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.
    4. Chen, Long & Zhang, Gaiyan & Zhang, Weina, 2016. "Return predictability in the corporate bond market along the supply chain," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 66-86.
    5. João Teixeira, 2014. "Outsourcing with debt financing," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 13(1), pages 1-24, April.
    6. Chu, Yongqiang, 2012. "Optimal capital structure, bargaining, and the supplier market structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 411-426.
    7. Chemmanur, Thomas J. & Cheng, Yingmei & Zhang, Tianming, 2013. "Human capital, capital structure, and employee pay: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 478-502.
    8. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:07:y:2017:i:04:n:s2010139217500148 is not listed on IDEAS

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