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Debt as a (Credible) Collusive Device, or: "Everybody Happy but the Consumer"

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  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

The paper proposes a theory of the anti-competitive effects of debt finance based on the interaction between capital structure, managerial incentives, and firms' ability to sustain collusive agreements. It shows that shareholders' commitments that reduce conflicts with debtholders - such as hiring managers with valuable reputations or "conservative" incentives - besides reducing the agency costs of debt finance also greatly facilitate tacit collusion in product markets. Concentrated or collusive credit markets, or large banking groups, can ensure the credibility of such commitments (renegotiation-proofness), thereby "exporting" collusion through leverage in otherwise competitive downstream product markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 1998. "Debt as a (Credible) Collusive Device, or: "Everybody Happy but the Consumer"," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 243, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 01 Aug 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0243
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    Cited by:

    1. Giacinta Cestone, 1999. "Corporate Financing and Product Market Competition: An Overview," CSEF Working Papers 18, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. Cestone, Giacinta & Fumagalli, Chiara, 2001. "Internal Capital Markets, Cross-Subsidization and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2935, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks; oligopoly; financial market - product market interaction; capital structure; managerial incentives; collusion; governance.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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