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Reorganization or Liquidation: Bankruptcy Choice and Firm Dynamics

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  • Dean Corbae
  • Pablo D'Erasmo

Abstract

In this paper, we ask how bankruptcy law affects the financial decisions of corporations and its implications for firm dynamics. According to current U.S. law, firms have two bankruptcy options: Chapter 7 liquidation and Chapter 11 reorganization. Using Compustat data, we first document capital structure and investment decisions of non-bankrupt, Chapter 11, and Chapter 7 firms. Using those data moments, we then estimate parameters of a general equilibrium firm dynamics model with endogenous entry and exit to include both bankruptcy options. Finally, we evaluate a bankruptcy policy change similar to one recommended by the American Bankruptcy Institute that amounts to a "fresh start" for bankrupt firms. We find that changes to the law can have sizable consequences for borrowing costs and capital structure which via selection affects productivity, as well as long run welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Corbae & Pablo D'Erasmo, 2020. "Reorganization or Liquidation: Bankruptcy Choice and Firm Dynamics," Working Papers 769, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:88447
    DOI: 10.21034/wp.769
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Reorganization or Liquidation: Bankruptcy Choice and Firm Dynamics
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2017-07-08 01:51:40

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    Cited by:

    1. Aili Zhang & Ping Chen & Shuanming Li & Wenyuan Wang, 2020. "Risk Modelling on Liquidations with L\'{e}vy Processes," Papers 2007.01426, arXiv.org.
    2. Antill, Samuel & Grenadier, Steven R., 2019. "Optimal capital structure and bankruptcy choice: Dynamic bargaining versus liquidation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 198-224.
    3. Amir Kermani & Yueran Ma, 2020. "Two Tales of Debt," NBER Working Papers 27641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cristina Fuentes‐Albero, 2019. "Financial Frictions, Financial Shocks, and Aggregate Volatility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(6), pages 1581-1621, September.
    5. Li, Xin & Liu, Haibo & Tang, Qihe & Zhu, Jinxia, 2020. "Liquidation risk in insurance under contemporary regulatory frameworks," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 36-49.
    6. Adam Hal Spencer, 2020. "Policy effects of international taxation on firm dynamics and capital structure," Discussion Papers 2020-25, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    7. Alfaro, Laura & Asis, Gonzalo & Chari, Anusha & Panizza, Ugo, 2019. "Corporate debt, firm size and financial fragility in emerging markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 1-19.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate bankruptcy; Capital structure; Firm dynamics; Capital misallocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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