IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fednsr/89124.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Zombies at Large? Corporate Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomy

Author

Listed:
  • Òscar Jordà
  • Martin Kornejew

    ()

  • Moritz Schularick
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

With business leverage at record levels, the effects of corporate debt overhang on growth and investment have become a prominent concern. In this paper, we study the effects of corporate debt overhang based on long-run cross-country data covering the near-universe of modern business cycles. We show that business credit booms typically do not leave a lasting imprint on the macroeconomy. Quantile local projections indicate that business credit booms do not affect the economy’s tail risks either. Yet in line with theory, we find that the economic costs of corporate debt booms rise when inefficient debt restructuring and liquidation impede the resolution of corporate financial distress and make it more likely that corporate zombies creep along.

Suggested Citation

  • Òscar Jordà & Martin Kornejew & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "Zombies at Large? Corporate Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomy," Staff Reports 951, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:89124
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr951.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr951.html
    File Function: Summary
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anat R. Admati & Peter M. Demarzo & Martin F. Hellwig & Paul Pfleiderer, 2018. "The Leverage Ratchet Effect," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 73(1), pages 145-198, February.
    2. Douglas W. Diamond & Zhiguo He, 2014. "A Theory of Debt Maturity: The Long and Short of Debt Overhang," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 719-762, April.
    3. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    4. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. Bergman, Yaacov Z. & Callen, Jeffrey L., 1991. "Opportunistic underinvestment in debt renegotiation and capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 137-171, March.
    6. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2010. "Household Leverage and the Recession of 2007–09," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(1), pages 74-117, August.
    8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    9. Francesca Loria & Christian Matthes & Donghai Zhang, 2019. "Assessing Macroeconomic Tail Risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-026, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Xavier Giroud & Holger M. Mueller, 2017. "Firm Leverage, Consumer Demand, and Employment Losses during the Great Recession," Working Papers 17-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Òscar Jordà, 2005. "Estimation and Inference of Impulse Responses by Local Projections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 161-182, March.
    12. Kurt Mitman, 2016. "Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2219-2255, August.
    13. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
    14. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Emil Verner, 2017. "Household Debt and Business Cycles Worldwide," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1755-1817.
    16. Müge Adalet McGowan & Dan Andrews & Valentine Millot & Thorsten BeckManaging Editor, 2018. "The walking dead? Zombie firms and productivity performance in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 33(96), pages 685-736.
    17. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    18. Lamont, Owen, 1995. "Corporate-Debt Overhang and Macroeconomic Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1106-1117, December.
    19. Xavier Giroud & Holger M. Mueller, 2017. "Firm Leverage, Consumer Demand, and Employment Losses During the Great Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(1), pages 271-316.
    20. Michael D. Bordo & Joseph G. Haubrich, 2017. "Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, And Financial Crises: Evidence From The American Record," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 527-541, January.
    21. 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.
    22. Ludger Linnemann & Roland Winkler, 2016. "Estimating nonlinear effects of fiscal policy using quantile regression methods," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 1120-1145.
    23. Barbiero, Francesca & Popov, Alexander & Wolski, Marcin, 2018. "Debt overhang and investment efficiency," EIB Working Papers 2018/08, European Investment Bank (EIB).
    24. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "When Credit Bites Back," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(s2), pages 3-28, December.
    25. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2008. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1943-1977, December.
    26. Occhino, Filippo & Pescatori, Andrea, 2015. "Debt overhang in a business cycle model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 58-84.
    27. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "Disasters Everywhere: The Costs of Business Cycles Reconsidered," Staff Reports 925, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    28. Gertner, Robert & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "A Theory of Workouts and the Effects of Reorganization Law," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1189-1222, September.
    29. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "Recovery from Financial Crises: Evidence from 100 Episodes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 50-55, May.
    30. Giesecke, Kay & Longstaff, Francis A. & Schaefer, Stephen & Strebulaev, Ilya A., 2014. "Macroeconomic effects of corporate default crisis: A long-term perspective," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 297-310.
    31. Christian Dembiermont & Mathias Drehmann & Siriporn Muksakunratana, 2013. "How much does the private sector really borrow - a new database for total credit to the private non-financial sector," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    32. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Callen, Jeffrey L., 1980. "Corporate leverage and growth the game-theoretic issues," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 379-399, December.
    33. Berkovitch, Elazar & Kim, E Han, 1990. "Financial Contracting and Leverage Induced Over- and Under-Investment Incentives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 765-794, July.
    34. Adrien Auclert & Will S. Dobbie & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, 2019. "Macroeconomic Effects of Debt Relief: Consumer Bankruptcy Protections in the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 25685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Marco Botta, 2020. "Financial crises, debt overhang, and firm growth in transition economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(40), pages 4333-4350, August.
    36. Francisco Covas & Wouter J. Den Haan, 2011. "The Cyclical Behavior of Debt and Equity Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 877-899, April.
    37. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, June.
    38. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2014. "The Employment Effects of Credit Market Disruptions: Firm-level Evidence from the 2008-9 Financial Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 1-59.
    39. Fama, Eugene F, 1978. "The Effects of a Firm's Investment and Financing Decisions on the Welfare of Its Security Holders," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 272-284, June.
    40. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters, in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Thomas Philippon, 2010. "Debt Overhang and Recapitalization in Closed and Open Economies," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(1), pages 157-178, August.
    42. John, Kose & Nachman, David C, 1985. "Risky Debt, Investment Incentives, and Reputation in a Sequential Equilibrium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 863-878, July.
    43. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate debt; business cycles; local projections;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:fip:fednsr:89124. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbnyus.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.