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Resolution of corporate distress - evidence from East Asia's financial crisis

  • Claessens, Stijn
  • Djankov, Simeon
  • Klapper, Leora

The widespread financial crisis in East Asia caused large economic shocks, which varied by degree across the region. That crisis provides a unique opportunity for investigating the factors that determine the use of bankruptcy processes in a number of economies. The authors study the use of bankruptcy in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan (China), and Thailand. These economies differ in their institutional frameworks for resolving financial distress, partly because of the different origins of their judicial systems. One difference is the strength of creditor rights, which the authors document. They expect that differences in legal enforcement and judicial efficiency should affect the resolution of financial distress. Using a sample of 4,569 publicly traded East Asian firms, they observe a total of 106 bankruptcies in 1997 and 1998. They find that: 1) The likelihood of filing for bankruptcy is lower for firms with ownership links to banks and families, controlling for firm and country characteristics. 2) Filings are more likely in countries with better judicial systems. 3) Filings are more likely where there are both strong creditor rights and a good judicial system. These results alone do not allow the authors to address whether increased use of bankruptcy is an efficient resolution mechanism.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2133.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2133
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  1. Stijn Claessens & Leora F. Klapper, 2005. "Bankruptcy around the World: Explanations of Its Relative Use," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 253-283.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," NBER Working Papers 5879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stijn Claessens & Simeon Djankov & Joseph P. H. Fan & Larry H. P. Lang, 2002. "Disentangling the Incentive and Entrenchment Effects of Large Shareholdings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2741-2771, December.
  4. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  5. White, Michelle J, 1989. "The Corporate Bankruptcy Decision," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 129-51, Spring.
  6. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
  7. White, Michelle J, 1994. "Corporate Bankruptcy as a Filtering Device: Chapter 11 Reorganizations and Out-of-Court Debt Restructurings," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 268-95, October.
  8. Prowse, Stephen D, 1992. " The Structure of Corporate Ownership in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1121-40, July.
  9. Gilson, Stuart C., 1989. "Management turnover and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 241-262, December.
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