IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

How legal environments affect the use of bond covenants


  • Yaxuan Qi

    (Department of Finance, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)

  • Lukas Roth

    (Department of Finance and Management Science, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

  • John K Wald

    (Department of Finance, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, USA)


We examine how country-level legal and institutional investor protection shapes contractual creditor protection. We examine debt covenant information from foreign corporate bonds issued in the US from more than 50 countries between 1991 and 2007. We find that bonds of firms incorporated in countries with stronger creditor rights use fewer covenants. This finding suggests that creditor protection substitutes for covenants in reducing the agency cost of debt. In contrast, bonds of firms with stronger shareholder rights or firms with stronger firm-level corporate governance use more covenants. These findings support the notion that firms with stronger shareholder control may face an increase in the shareholder–bondholder conflict and therefore prefer to use more covenants. However, greater shareholder rights are not associated with the use of more covenant restrictions on equity issuance, as firms with greater minority shareholder protection are unlikely to suffer such equity dilution.

Suggested Citation

  • Yaxuan Qi & Lukas Roth & John K Wald, 2011. "How legal environments affect the use of bond covenants," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(2), pages 235-262, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:42:y:2011:i:2:p:235-262

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


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

    Cited by:

    1. Reisel, Natalia, 2014. "On the value of restrictive covenants: Empirical investigation of public bond issues," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 251-268.
    2. Lin, Zhijun & Song, Byron Y. & Tian, Zhimin, 2016. "Does director-level reputation matter? Evidence from bank loan contracting," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 160-176.
    3. Prilmeier, Robert, 2017. "Why do loans contain covenants? Evidence from lending relationships," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 558-579.
    4. John, Kose & Reisz, Alexander S., 2010. "Temporal resolution of uncertainty, disclosure policy, and corporate debt yields," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 655-678, December.
    5. Marc Goergen & Salim Chahine & Geoffrey Wood & Chris Brewster, 2015. "Public Listing, Context and CSR: The Effects of Legal Origin," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2015-09, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    6. KOCHIYAMA, Takuma & NAKAMURA, Ryosuke, 2014. "Role, Structure, and Determinants of Debt Covenants: Evidence from Japan," Working Paper Series 187, Center for Japanese Business Studies (HJBS), Graduate School of Commerce and Management Hitotsubashi University.
    7. repec:pal:jintbs:v:48:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41267-016-0016-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ge, Wenxia & Kim, Jeong-Bon & Song, Byron Y., 2012. "Internal governance, legal institutions and bank loan contracting around the world," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 413-432.

    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:pal:jintbs:v:42:y:2011:i:2:p:235-262. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). 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.