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The Costs of Bankruptcy

  • Arturo Bris
  • Ivo Welch
  • Ning Zhu

Our paper explores a comprehensive sample of small and large corporate bankruptcies in Arizona and New York from 1995-2001. We find that bankruptcy costs are very heterogeneous and sensitive to measurement method. Still, Chapter 7 liquidations appear no faster or cheaper (in terms of direct expense) than Chapter 11 bankruptcies. But Chapter 11 seems to preserve assets better, and thereby allows creditors to recover relatively more. Our paper also provides a large number of further empirical regularities.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number amz2375.

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Date of creation: 07 Dec 2005
Date of revision: 21 Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2375
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  1. Ivo Welch & Bris, Arturo, 2001. "The Optimal Concentration of Creditors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1338, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2002.
  2. Ang, James S & Chua, Jess H & McConnell, John J, 1982. " The Administrative Costs of Corporate Bankruptcy: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 219-26, March.
  3. Espen Eckbo, B. & Thorburn, Karin S., 2003. "Control benefits and CEO discipline in automatic bankruptcy auctions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 227-258, July.
  4. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-89, October.
  5. Eberhart, Allan C & Moore, William T & Roenfeldt, Rodney L, 1990. " Security Pricing and Deviations from the Absolute Priority Rule in Bankruptcy Proceedings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1457-69, December.
  6. Baird, Douglas G & Morrison, Edward R, 2001. "Bankruptcy Decision Making," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 356-72, October.
  7. Welch, Ivo, 1997. "Why Is Bank Debt Senior? A Theory of Asymmetry and Claim Priority Based on Influence Costs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1203-36.
  8. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  9. Warner, Jerold B, 1977. "Bankruptcy Costs: Some Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 337-47, May.
  10. Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-89, September.
  11. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  12. Per Stromberg, . "Conflicts of Interest and Market Illiquidity in Bankruptcy Auctions: Theory and Tests," CRSP working papers 459, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  13. Eckbo, B Espen & Thorburn, Karin S, 2002. "Overbidding versus Fire-Sales in Bankruptcy Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Hotchkiss, Edith Shwalb, 1995. " Postbankruptcy Performance and Management Turnover," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-21, March.
  15. Alderson, Michael J. & Betker, Brian L., 1995. "Liquidation costs and capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 45-69, September.
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