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The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform

  • Aghion, Philippe
  • Hart, Oliver
  • Moore, John

We propose a new bankruptcy procedure. Initially, a firm's debts are cancelled, and cash and non-cash bids are solicited for the 'new" (all-equity) firm. Former claimants are given shares, or options to buy shares, in the new firm on the basis of absolute priority. Options are exercised once the bids are in. Finally, a shareholder vote is taken to select one of the bids. In essence, our procedure is a variant on the U.S. Chapter 7, in which non-cash bids are possible; this allows for reorganization. We believe our scheme is superior to Chapter 11 since it is simpler, quicker, market-based, avoids conflicts, and places appropriate discipline on management.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 8 (1992)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 523-46

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:8:y:1992:i:3:p:523-46
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  1. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1991/233, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Eberhart, Allan C & Moore, William T & Roenfeldt, Rodney L, 1990. " Security Pricing and Deviations from the Absolute Priority Rule in Bankruptcy Proceedings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1457-69, December.
  4. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
  5. James, Christopher, 1991. " The Losses Realized in Bank Failures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1223-42, September.
  6. Stuart C. Gilson, 1991. "Managing Default: Some Evidence On How Firms Choose Between Workouts And Chapter 11," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 62-70.
  7. Gilson, Stuart C. & John, Kose & Lang, Larry H. P., 1990. "Troubled debt restructurings*1: An empirical study of private reorganization of firms in default," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 315-353, October.
  8. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-88, May.
  9. Franks, Julian R & Torous, Walter N, 1989. " An Empirical Investigation of U.S. Firms in Reorganization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 747-69, July.
  10. Ritter, Jay R., 1987. "The costs of going public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 269-281, December.
  11. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
  12. Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-89, September.
  13. John J. McConnell & Henri Servaes, 1991. "The Economics Of Prepackaged Bankruptcy," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 93-98.
  14. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "Asset Sales and Debt Capacity," NBER Working Papers 3618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  16. Weiss, Lawrence A., 1990. "Bankruptcy resolution: Direct costs and violation of priority of claims," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 285-314, October.
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