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Debt, Managers and Cartels

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Abstract

We propose a theory of anticompetitive effects of debt finance based on the interaction between capital structure, managerial incentives, and firms ability to sustain collusive agreements. Shareholders' commitments not to expropriate debtholders through managers with valuable reputations or common incentive schemes greatly facilitate collusive behavior in product markets. Disclosure rules aimed at improving transparency in corporate governance or network-based credit markets can confer credibility to such arrangements even in environments where firms lack commitment power, thereby inducing collusion through leverage in otherwise competitive downstream industries. Managers are happy with the arrangement since they share in the collusive rent.

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  • Salvatore Piccolo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2014. "Debt, Managers and Cartels," CSEF Working Papers 365, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:365
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bankruptcy; capital structure; collusion; corporate governance; credit markets; disclosure rules; financial regulation; managerial incentives; product market competition.;

    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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