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Financial distress, bankruptcy law and the business cycle

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  • Javier Suarez

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  • Oren Sussman

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Abstract

This paper explores the business cycle implications of financial distress and bankruptcy law. We find that due to the presence of financial imperfections the effect of liquidations on the price of capital goods can generate endogenous fluctuations. We show that a law reform that ‘softens’ bankruptcy law may increase the amplitude of the cycle in the long run. In contrast, a policy of bailing out businesses during the bust, or actively managing the interest rate across the cycle, could stabilize the economy in the long run. A comprehensive welfare analysis of the policy is provided as well.
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Suggested Citation

  • Javier Suarez & Oren Sussman, 2007. "Financial distress, bankruptcy law and the business cycle," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:annfin:v:3:y:2007:i:1:p:5-35 DOI: 10.1007/s10436-006-0056-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-41.
    3. Suarez, Javier & Sussman, Oren, 1997. "Endogenous Cycles in a Stiglitz-Weiss Economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 47-71, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
    6. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen & Zender, Jaime F., 1997. "Optimal bankruptcy law and firm-specific investments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 487-497, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Goodhart & Dimitrios Tsomocos, 2007. "Financial stability: theory and applications," Annals of Finance, Springer, pages 1-4.
    2. Chiarella, Carl & Di Guilmi, Corrado, 2011. "The financial instability hypothesis: A stochastic microfoundation framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 1151-1171.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bankruptcy law; Business cycles; Financial distress; Liquidation; E32; E44; G33;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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