The Balance of Power between Creditors and the Firm: Evidence from German Insolvency Law
60 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2018 Last revised: 25 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 24, 2019
In 2011, German legislators passed the latest reform to German Insolvency Law (ESUG). ESUG mandates that creditors of larger firms can exert more influence on the appointment of the insolvency administrator, resulting in a shift of power from shareholders to creditors. Based on difference-in-differences estimation, we find that larger firms reduced financial leverage by about 4 to 7 percentage points relative to control firms. Furthermore, after the enactment of ESUG, larger firms spend less money on investment and pay higher interest rates. Overall, the evidence is consistent with the view that German creditor protection has become too strong.
Keywords: leverage, bankruptcy, insolvency, agency theory
JEL Classification: G32, G33, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation