IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinin/v20y2011i1p25-54.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cross-country variations in capital structures: The role of bankruptcy codes

Author

Listed:
  • Acharya, Viral V.
  • Sundaram, Rangarajan K.
  • John, Kose

Abstract

We investigate the impact of bankruptcy codes on firms' capital-structure choices. We develop a theoretical model to identify how firm characteristics may interact with the bankruptcy code in determining optimal capital structures. A novel and sharp empirical implication emerges from this model: that the difference in leverage choices under a relatively equity-friendly bankruptcy code (such as the US's) and one that is relatively more debt-friendly (such as the UK's) should be a decreasing function of the anticipated liquidation value of the firm's assets. Using data on the US and the UK over the period 1990-2002, we subject this prediction to both parametric and non-parametric tests, using different proxies for liquidation values and different measures of leverage. In support for the theory, we find that our proxies for liquidation value are both statistically and economically significant in explaining leverage differences across the two countries. In contrast, many of the other factors that are known to affect within-country leverage (e.g., size) cannot explain differences in leverage across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Viral V. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K. & John, Kose, 2011. "Cross-country variations in capital structures: The role of bankruptcy codes," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 25-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:25-54
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1042-9573(10)00003-3
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 2002. "Ex Ante Costs of Violating Absolute Priority in Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 445-460, February.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-591, July.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-1366, September.
    4. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    5. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
    6. Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN & Erik BERGLÖF & Gérard ROLAND, 2003. "Optimal Debt Design and the Role of Bankruptcy," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 03.13, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    7. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2003. "Do Better Institutions Mitigate Agency Problems? Evidence from Corporate Finance Choices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 185-212, March.
    8. Alexander Dyck & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 537-600, April.
    9. Julian R. Franks & Kjell G. Nyborg & Walter N. Torous, 1996. "A Comparison of UK, US and German Insolvency Codes," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 25(3), Fall.
    10. John R. Graham, 2000. "How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 1901-1941, October.
    11. Per Strömberg, 2000. "Conflicts of Interest and Market Illiquidity in Bankruptcy Auctions: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2641-2692, December.
    12. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli & Swary, Itzhak, 1996. "Investor valuation of the abandonment option," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 257-287, October.
    13. Stijn Claessens & Leora F. Klapper, 2005. "Bankruptcy around the World: Explanations of Its Relative Use," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 253-283.
    14. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    15. White, Michelle J, 1994. "Corporate Bankruptcy as a Filtering Device: Chapter 11 Reorganizations and Out-of-Court Debt Restructurings," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 268-295, October.
    16. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2002. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 1-32, February.
    17. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    18. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen, 1999. "Optimal Bankruptcy Laws across Different Economic Systems," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 347-377.
    19. Gertner, Robert & Scharfstein, David, 1991. " A Theory of Workouts and the Effects of Reorganization Law," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1189-1222, September.
    20. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-1054.
    21. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-275, May.
    22. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
    23. Sergei A. Davydenko & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2007. "Strategic Actions and Credit Spreads: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2633-2671, December.
    24. Todd C. Pulvino, 1998. "Do Asset Fire Sales Exist? An Empirical Investigation of Commercial Aircraft Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 939-978, June.
    25. Acharya, Viral V. & Bharath, Sreedhar T. & Srinivasan, Anand, 2007. "Does industry-wide distress affect defaulted firms? Evidence from creditor recoveries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 787-821, September.
    26. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-636, May-June.
    27. Christopher A. Hennessy & Toni M. Whited, 2005. "Debt Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1129-1165, June.
    28. Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2007. "Do Tests of Capital Structure Theory Mean What They Say?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1747-1787, August.
    29. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2005. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2575-2619, December.
    30. Cornelli, Francesca & Felli, Leonardo, 1997. "Ex-ante efficiency of bankruptcy procedures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 475-485, April.
    31. Povel, Paul, 1999. "Optimal "Soft" or "Tough" Bankruptcy Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 659-684, October.
    32. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
    33. Acharya, Viral V & Bharath, Sreedhar T & Srinivasan, Anand, 2003. "Understanding the Recovery Rates on Defaulted Securities," CEPR Discussion Papers 4098, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    34. Sergei A. Davydenko & Julian R. Franks, 2008. "Do Bankruptcy Codes Matter? A Study of Defaults in France, Germany, and the U.K," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 565-608, April.
    35. Elazar Berkovitch & Ronen Israel, 1998. "Optimal Bankruptcy Laws Across Different Economic Systems," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 143, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:559-571 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Miguel García-Posada & Juan Mora-Sanguinetti, 2014. "Are there alternatives to bankruptcy? A study of small business distress in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 287-332, August.
    3. Boyd, John H. & Hakenes, Hendrik & Heitz, Amanda Rae, 2016. "The Effects of Creditor Rights and Bank Information Sharing on Borrower Behavior: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Akbel, Basak & Schnitzer, Monika, 2011. "Creditor rights and debt allocation within multinationals," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1367-1379, June.
    5. Miguel García-Posada & Raquel Vegas, 2016. "Las reformas de la Ley Concursal durante la Gran Recesión," Working Papers 1610, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    6. Rainer Haselmann & Katharina Pistor & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "How Law Affects Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(2), pages 549-580, February.
    7. repec:enr:rpaper:0008 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Breuer, Wolfgang & Rieger, M. Oliver & Soypak, K. Can, 2014. "The behavioral foundations of corporate dividend policy a cross-country analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 247-265.
    9. 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.
    10. Hasan, Iftekhar & John, Kose & Kadiyalad, Padma, 2016. "Debt structure when bankruptcy law offers incentives to restructure," Research Discussion Papers 13/2016, Bank of Finland.
    11. Viral V. Acharya & Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, 2009. "Bankruptcy Codes and Innovation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 4949-4988, December.
    12. Bernardus Ferdinandus Nazar Van Doornik & Lucio Rodrigues Capelletto, 2015. "Collateral after the Brazilian Creditor Rights Reform," Working Papers Series 404, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    13. Dang, Viet Anh, 2013. "An empirical analysis of zero-leverage firms: New evidence from the UK," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 189-202.
    14. Nazar van Doornik, B.F., 2015. "Essays on the behavior of foreign banks in Brazil," Other publications TiSEM 06586714-3b67-4f84-be4f-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    15. Zhang, Andrew Jianzhong, 2012. "Distress risk premia in expected stock and bond returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 225-238.
    16. repec:pal:jintbs:v:48:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41267-016-0016-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. 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.
    18. Yomna Abdulla & Viet Anh Dang & Arif Khurshed, 2016. "Debt maturity and initial public offerings," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1129-1165, November.
    19. Filipe, Sara Ferreira & Grammatikos, Theoharry & Michala, Dimitra, 2016. "Forecasting distress in European SME portfolios," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 112-135.
    20. Favara, Giovanni & Morellec, Erwan & Schroth, Enrique & Valta, Philip, 2017. "Debt enforcement, investment, and risk taking across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 22-41.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:25-54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622875 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.