IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Bankruptcy Costs and the Financial Leasing Decision


  • V. Sivarama Krishnan
  • R. Charles Moyer


The theory of financial leasing views financial leases as substitutes for secured debt. Empirical studies have reported a high positive correlation between lease ratios and debt ratios and that lessors earn higher rates of return than lenders. These results contradict traditional leasing theory. They are explained in this paper by recognizing the role bankruptcy costs play in the lease/borrow decision and the nature of the assets to be acquired by a firm. Leasing is shown to involve lower bankruptcy costs than borrowing. Our empirical analysis shows that lessee firms have lower retained earnings relative to total assets, higher growth rates, lower coverage ratios, higher debt ratios, and higher operating risk than non-lessee firms. Lessee firms also have significantly lower Altman Z-scores, a measure of bankruptcy potential. Overall, our results indicate that as bankruptcy potential increases, lease financing becomes an increasingly attractive financing option. We also find evidence to support an industry clientele effect in financial leasing.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Sivarama Krishnan & R. Charles Moyer, 1994. "Bankruptcy Costs and the Financial Leasing Decision," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 23(2), Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:fma:fmanag:krishnan94

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


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

    Cited by:

    1. João Pinto & Luís K. Pacheco, 2014. "The Economics Of Structured Leasing," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 04, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    2. Marie Christine Filareto-Deghaye & Eric Severin., 2007. "Determinants of the choice leasing vs Bank Loan: evidence from the french sme by Kacm," Economic Analysis Working Papers (2002-2010). Atlantic Review of Economics (2011-2016), Colexio de Economistas de A Coruña, Spain and Fundación Una Galicia Moderna, vol. 6, pages 1-11, May.
    3. Alain Capiez, 2000. "Evaluation du crédit-bail et risque de crédit," Post-Print halshs-00587435, HAL.
    4. Gavazza, Alessandro, 2010. "Asset liquidity and financial contracts: Evidence from aircraft leases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 62-84, January.
    5. Anna Białek-Jaworska & Aneta Dzik-Walczak & Natalia Nehrebecka, 2015. "Kiedy firmy sięgają po leasing?," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 2, pages 113-144.
    6. Marie Christine Deghaye-Filareto & Eric Severin, 2007. "Determinants of the choice leasing vs Bank Loan: evidence from the french sme by Kacm," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00204911, HAL.
    7. repec:eee:ecofin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:487-503 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Julan Du & Charles Ka Yui Leung & Derek Chu, 2014. "Return Enhancing, Cash-rich or simply Empire-Building? An Empirical Investigation of Corporate Real Estate Holdings," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 17(3), pages 301-357.
    9. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Adriano A. Rampini, 2009. "Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1621-1657, April.
    10. repec:wsi:rpbfmp:v:20:y:2017:i:04:n:s0219091517500229 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sharpe, Steven A. & Nguyen, Hien H., 1995. "Capital market imperfections and the incentive to lease," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 271-294.
    12. Landry, Suzanne & Fortin, Anne & Callimaci, Antonello, 2013. "Family firms and the lease decision," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 176-187.
    13. Chemmanur, Thomas & Jiao, Yawen & Yan, An, 2010. "A theory of contractual provisions in leasing," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 116-142, January.
    14. Jacques Sarremejeanne, 2011. "Les déterminants financiers des cessions-bail," Post-Print hal-00650571, HAL.
    15. Marie-Christine Filareto, 2004. "Les déterminants du taux débiteur exigé par le crédit-bailleur : une étude empirique sur le marché français," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 162(1), pages 111-128.
    16. Branch, Ben, 2002. "The costs of bankruptcy: A review," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 39-57.
    17. Lee, Michael, 2010. "Auswirkung des Leasings auf die Fremdkapitalkapazität," Leasing - Wissenschaft & Praxis, Universität zu Köln, Forschungsinstitut für Leasing, vol. 8(2), pages 53-70.
    18. Ezzell, John R. & Vora, Premal P., 2001. "Leasing versus purchasing: Direct evidence on a corporation's motivations for leasing and consequences of leasing," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 33-47.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:fma:fmanag:krishnan94. 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: (Courtney Connors). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.