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The Effect of Leverage on Bidding Behavior: Theory and Evidence from the FCC Auctions

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  • Matthew J. Clayton
  • S. Abraham Ravid

Abstract

This is an exploration of how bidding behavior of firms in various auctions is affected by their capital structure. The theoretical model considers a first-price sealed bid and an English auction. We find that as debt levels increase, firms tend to reduce their bids. The lower bids give the competition incentives to reduce their bids as well. These results are investigated empirically using data from the 1994--1995 FCC spectrum auctions. Consistent with the theoretical model, higher debt levels of the bidding firm and of the competition tend to lead to lower bids. Additional determinants of bidding behavior in these auctions are also analyzed. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Clayton & S. Abraham Ravid, 2002. "The Effect of Leverage on Bidding Behavior: Theory and Evidence from the FCC Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 723-750.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:15:y:2002:i:3:p:723-750
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco A. Haan & Linda A. Toolsema, 2011. "License Auctions When Winning Bids Are Financed Through Debt," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 254-281, June.
    2. Morellec, Erwan & Zhdanov, Alexei, 2008. "Financing and takeovers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 556-581, March.
    3. Chen, Sheng-Syan & Chen, Po-Jung & Lin, Wen-Chun, 2012. "The impact of strategic interaction on earnings expectations associated with corporate product strategies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 66-77.
    4. Espen Eckbo, B. & Thorburn, S. Karin, 2008. "Automatic bankruptcy auctions and fire-sales," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 404-422, September.
    5. Clayton, Matthew J., 2009. "Debt, investment, and product market competition: A note on the limited liability effect," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 694-700, April.
    6. Agliardi, Elettra & Amel-Zadeh, Amir & Koussis, Nicos, 2016. "Leverage changes and growth options in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 37-58.
    7. Eckbo, B. Espen, 2009. "Bidding strategies and takeover premiums: A review," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 149-178, February.
    8. repec:dgr:rugsom:06f06 is not listed on IDEAS

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