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Indirect Costs of Financial Distress in Durable Goods Industries: The Case of Auto Manufacturers


  • Ali Hortaçsu
  • Gregor Matvos
  • Chad Syverson
  • Sriram Venkataraman


Financial distress can disrupt a durable goods producer's provision of complementary goods and services such as warranties, spare parts and maintenance. This reduces consumers' demand for the core product, causing indirect costs of financial distress. We test this hypothesis in the market for used cars sold at wholesale auctions. An increase in a manufacturer's credit default swaps significantly decreases the prices of its cars at auction, especially cars with longer expected service lives. Our estimates imply substantial indirect costs of financial distress for car manufacturers. These costs have occasionally even exceeded the tax savings benefits for General Motors and Ford. The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali Hortaçsu & Gregor Matvos & Chad Syverson & Sriram Venkataraman, 2013. "Indirect Costs of Financial Distress in Durable Goods Industries: The Case of Auto Manufacturers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(5), pages 1248-1290.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:26:y:2013:i:5:p:1248-1290

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Egan & Ali Hortaçsu & Gregor Matvos, 2017. "Deposit Competition and Financial Fragility: Evidence from the US Banking Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 169-216, January.
    2. Efraim Benmelech & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Rodney Ramcharan, 2017. "The Real Effects of Liquidity During the Financial Crisis: Evidence from Automobiles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(1), pages 317-365.
    3. José Jorge, 2016. "Sovereign Ratings and Investor Behavior," CEF.UP Working Papers 1601, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    4. Cookson, J. Anthony, 2017. "Leverage and strategic preemption: Lessons from entry plans and incumbent investments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 292-312.
    5. Augustin, Patrick & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Wang, Sarah Qian, 2014. "Credit Default Swaps: A Survey," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 9(1-2), pages 1-196, December.
    6. Anne Épaulard & Chloé Zapha, 2019. "Bankruptcy Costs and the Design of Preventive Restructuring Procedures," Working Papers hal-02383494, HAL.
    7. Francois Gourio, 2013. "Financial Distress and Endogenous Uncertainty," 2013 Meeting Papers 108, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Nicola Lacetera & Bradley J. Larsen & Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2016. "Bid Takers or Market Makers? The Effect of Auctioneers on Auction Outcome," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 195-229, November.
    9. Cristian Huse & Nikita Koptyug, 2017. "Bailing on the Car That Was Not Bailed Out: Bounding Consumer Reactions to Financial Distress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 337-374, June.
    10. Dominic Coey & Bradley Larsen & Kane Sweeney, 2019. "The bidder exclusion effect," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 50(1), pages 93-120, March.
    11. David Yechiam Aharon & Yossi Yagil, 2019. "The Impact of Financial Leverage on the Cost of Equity," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 9(2), pages 175-188.
    12. Jennifer Brown & David A. Matsa, 2016. "Boarding a Sinking Ship? An Investigation of Job Applications to Distressed Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(2), pages 507-550, April.
    13. Baghai, Ramin P. & Silva, Rui C & Ye, Luofu, 2018. "Teams and Bankruptcy," CEPR Discussion Papers 13198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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