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Last Resort Gambles, Risky Debt and Liquidation Policy

  • E. Agliardi
  • R. Andergassen

This paper develops a real option model in which the interaction between debt, liquidation policy and risky investments is studied. We consider a manager who owns the firm and faces the opportunity to invest in risky projects which boost current profits at the cost of bankruptcy if they turn out to be unsuccessful. These investments are "last resort gambles" in the sense that, if successful, they save the company from insolvency, while, if unsuccessful, they make liquidation unavoidable. We show that last resort gamble strategies boost the company’s value, delaying liquidation. We study how the liquidation and the last resort gamble strategies are affected by the firm’s capital structure.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 577.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:577
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  1. Anderson, Ronald W & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Design and Valuation of Debt Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 37-68.
  2. Agliardi, Elettra & Agliardi, Rossella, 2009. "Progressive taxation and corporate liquidation: Analysis and policy implications," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 144-154.
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  4. Leland, Hayne E, 1994. " Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-52, September.
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  8. Patrick Bolton & José Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2006. "Executive Compensation and Short-Termist Behaviour in Speculative Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 577-610.
  9. Jean-Paul Décamps & Bertrand Djembissi, 2007. "Switching to a poor business activity: optimal capital structure, agency costs and covenant rules," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 389-409, July.
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  12. Mella-Barral, Pierre & Perraudin, William, 1997. " Strategic Debt Service," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 531-56, June.
  13. Ondrej Knot & Ondrej Vychodil, 2006. "Bankruptcy Regimes and Gambling on Resurrection," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp290, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  14. Childs, Paul D. & Mauer, David C. & Ott, Steven H., 2005. "Interactions of corporate financing and investment decisions: The effects of agency conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 667-690, June.
  15. Baruch Lev, 2003. "Corporate Earnings: Facts and Fiction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 27-50, Spring.
  16. Paul Povel & Rajdeep Singh & Andrew Winton, 2007. "Booms, Busts, and Fraud," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 1219-1254.
  17. Goldman, Eitan & Slezak, Steve L., 2006. "An equilibrium model of incentive contracts in the presence of information manipulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 603-626, June.
  18. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  19. Oliver Hart, 2000. "Different Approaches to Bankruptcy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1903, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  20. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. " Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
  21. Mauer, David C. & Sarkar, Sudipto, 2005. "Real options, agency conflicts, and optimal capital structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1405-1428, June.
  22. Agliardi, Elettra & Agliardi, Rossella, 2008. "Progressive taxation and corporate liquidation policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 532-541, May.
  23. Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1995. "Long-Term Contracts, Short-Term Investment and Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 557-575.
  24. Michael C. Jensen, 2004. "The Agency Costs of Overvalued Equity and the Current State of Corporate Finance," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 10(4), pages 549-565.
  25. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  26. Lambrecht, Bart M. & Myers, Stewart C., 2008. "Debt and managerial rents in a real-options model of the firm," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 209-231, August.
  27. George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
  28. Mello, Antonio S & Parsons, John E, 1992. " Measuring the Agency Cost of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1887-904, December.
  29. Patrick Bolton & Jose Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2005. "Pay for Short-Term Performance: Executive Compensation in Speculative," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000673, UCLA Department of Economics.
  30. Burns, Natasha & Kedia, Simi, 2006. "The impact of performance-based compensation on misreporting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 35-67, January.
  31. Galai, Dan & Masulis, Ronald W., 1976. "The option pricing model and the risk factor of stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 53-81.
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