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Should We Abolish Chapter 11? Evidence from Canada

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  • Fisher, Timothy C G
  • Martel, Jocelyn

Abstract

Chapter 11 has been severely criticized over the last decade. Some American jurists arguing in favor of revising Chapter 11 have raised the possibility that the Canadian reorganization system might be a good alternative. This article examines data on firms undergoing reorganization under the Canadian bankruptcy system and argues that there are fruitful lessons to be learned from the Canadian experience with court-supervised reorganization. Canadian reorganization plans have very high rates of acceptance, confirmation, and consummation. Firms in Canada are almost eight times more likely to survive reorganization than are firms in Chapter 11. Further, small firms are just as likely as large firms are to emerge from reorganization in Canada, contrary to experience in the United States. The data also show that Canadian reorganization procedure offers a very rapid solution to financial distress and that creditors gain, in expected value terms, from reorganization over liquidation. We use our analysis of the relative performance of the two systems to suggest some avenues for reform of Chapter 11. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Fisher, Timothy C G & Martel, Jocelyn, 1999. "Should We Abolish Chapter 11? Evidence from Canada," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 233-257, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:28:y:1999:i:1:p:233-57
    DOI: 10.1086/468051
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/468051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Oliver D. Hart & John Moore, 1994. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," NBER Chapters, in: The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2, Restructuring, pages 215-244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barthlmy, Fabrice & Fisher, Timothy C.G. & Martel, Jocelyn, 2009. "What discount rate should bankruptcy judges use? Estimates from Canadian reorganization data," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 67-72, March.
    2. Christine Pochet, 2002. "Institutional Complementarities within Corporate Governance Systems: A Comparative Study of Bankruptcy Rules," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 6(4), pages 343-381, December.
    3. Bruno Biais & Thomas Mariotti, 2009. "Credit, Wages, and Bankruptcy Laws," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 939-973, September.
    4. Ngo Van Long & Antoine Soubeyran, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and Location Choice under Cournot Rivalry," CIRANO Working Papers 96s-30, CIRANO.
    5. Bart Leyman, 2012. "The uneasy case for rehabilitating small firms under the 1997-reorganization law in Belgium: evidence from reorganization plans," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 533-560, December.
    6. Clas Bergström & Theodore Eisenberg & Stefan Sundgren, 2004. "On the Design of Efficient Priority Rules for Secured Creditors: Empirical Evidence from A Change in Law," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 273-297, December.
    7. Lars-Hendrick Röller & Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 1996. "Asymmetry in Cournot Duopoly," CIRANO Working Papers 96s-23, CIRANO.
    8. Gilles Recasens, 2003. "Faut-il adopter un système pro-créanciers de défaillances? Une revue de la littérature," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 6(1), pages 119-153, March.
    9. B. Leyman & K. Schoors & P. Coussement, 2008. "The Role of Firm Viability, Creditor Behavior and Judicial Discretion in the Failure of Distressed Firms under Courtsupervised Restructuring: Evidence from Belgium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/509, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    10. Leyman, Bart & Schoors, Koen J.L. & Coussement, Peter, 2011. "Does court-supervised reorganization work? Evidence from post-confirmation firm failure," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 149-168, September.
    11. Ayadi, Mohamed A. & Lazrak, Skander & Welch, Robert, 2017. "Determinants of bankruptcy regime choice for Canadian public firms," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 161-172.
    12. Ondøej Knot & Ondøej Vychodil, 2006. "Czech Bankruptcy Procedures: Ex-post Efficiency View," Working Papers IES 2006/03, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jan 2006.
    13. Lars Vilhuber, 1996. "Wage Flexibility and Contract Structure in Germany," CIRANO Working Papers 96s-28, CIRANO.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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