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Strategic Default and Equity Risk Across Countries


  • Philip Valta

    (GREGH - Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC - HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Giovanni Favara
  • Enrique Schroth

    (UvA - University of Amsterdam [Amsterdam])


We show that the prospect of a debt renegotiation favorable to shareholders reduces the firm's equity risk. Equity beta and return volatility are lower in countries where the bankruptcy code favors debt renegotiations and for firms with more shareholder bargaining power relative to debt holders. These relations weaken as the country's insolvency procedure favors liquidations over renegotiations. In the limit, when debt contracts cannot be renegotiated, equity risk is independent of shareholders' incentives to default strategically. We argue that these findings support the hypothesis that the threat of strategic default can reduce the firm's equity risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Valta & Giovanni Favara & Enrique Schroth, 2012. "Strategic Default and Equity Risk Across Countries," Post-Print hal-00758528, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00758528
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2012.01781.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Drozd, Lukasz A. & Serrano-Padial, Ricardo, 2018. "Financial contracting with enforcement externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 153-189.
    2. Feldhütter, Peter & Hotchkiss, Edith & Karakaş, Oğuzhan, 2016. "The value of creditor control in corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-27.
    3. 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.
    4. Chu, Yongqiang, 2021. "Debt Renegotiation and Debt Overhang: Evidence from Lender Mergers," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 995-1021, May.
    5. Nishihara, Michi & Shibata, Takashi, 2016. "Asset sale, debt restructuring, and liquidation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 73-92.
    6. Erwan Morellec & Boris Nikolov & Norman Schürhoff, 2018. "Agency Conflicts around the World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(11), pages 4232-4287.
    7. Bostandzic, Denefa & Weiß, Gregor N.F., 2018. "Why do some banks contribute more to global systemic risk?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 35(PA), pages 17-40.
    8. Li, Keming & Lockwood, Jimmy & Miao, Hong, 2017. "Risk-shifting, equity risk, and the distress puzzle," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 275-288.
    9. Linnenluecke, Martina K. & Chen, Xiaoyan & Ling, Xin & Smith, Tom & Zhu, Yushu, 2017. "Research in finance: A review of influential publications and a research agenda," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 188-199.
    10. Christophe J. Godlewski, 2019. "Debt Renegotiation and the Design of Financial Contracts," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 191-215, June.
    11. Erwan Morellec & Philip Valta & Alexei Zhdanov, 2015. "Financing Investment: The Choice Between Bonds and Bank Loans," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(11), pages 2580-2602, November.
    12. Godlewski, Christophe J., 2020. "How legal and institutional environments shape the private debt renegotiation process?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    13. Moraux, Franck & Silaghi, Florina, 2014. "Inside debt renegotiation: Optimal debt reduction, timing, and the number of rounds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 269-295.
    14. Bhamra, Harjoat S. & Shim, Kyung Hwan, 2017. "Stochastic idiosyncratic cash flow risk and real options: Implications for stock returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 400-431.
    15. Christophe J. GODLEWSKI, 2017. "Initial conditions and the private debt renegotiation process," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2017-03, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    16. Abad, P. & Ferreras, R. & Robles, M.D., 2020. "Intra-industry transfer effects of credit risk news: Rated versus unrated rivals," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1).
    17. Favara, Giovanni & Morellec, Erwan & Schroth, Enrique & Valta, Philip, 2017. "Debt enforcement, investment, and risk taking across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 22-41.
    18. Sadok El Ghoul & Omrane Guedhami & Chuck C Y Kwok & Ying Zheng, 2021. "The role of creditor rights on capital structure and product market interactions: International evidence," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 52(1), pages 121-147, February.
    19. Jiang, Jinglu & Liu, Bo & Yang, Jinqiang, 2019. "The impact of debt restructuring on firm investment: Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 325-337.
    20. Kim, Gi H., 2016. "Credit derivatives as a commitment device: Evidence from the cost of corporate debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 67-83.
    21. Assaf Eisdorfer & Amit Goyal & Alexei Zhdanov, 2018. "Distress Anomaly and Shareholder Risk: International Evidence," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 553-581, September.
    22. Christophe J. GODLEWSKI & Bulat SANDITOV, 2020. "Private debt renegotiation and financial institutions' network," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2020-01, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    23. Panagiotis Avramidis & Ioannis Asimakopoulos & Dimitris Malliaropulos, 2021. "Disrupted lending relationship and borrower's strategic default: evidence from the tourism industry during the Greek economic crisis," Working Papers 285, Bank of Greece.
    24. Kevin Aretz & Chris Florackis & Alexandros Kostakis, 2018. "Do Stock Returns Really Decrease with Default Risk? New International Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(8), pages 3821-3842, August.
    25. Hwa‐Sung Kim, 2020. "Investment Decisions, Debt Renegotiation Friction, and Agency Conflicts," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 493-504, June.


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