Dissecting Bankruptcy Frictions

75 Pages Posted: 20 May 2019 Last revised: 2 Feb 2021

See all articles by Winston Wei Dou

Winston Wei Dou

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lucian A. Taylor

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Wei Wang

Queen's University - Smith School of Business

Wenyu Wang

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance

Date Written: November 19, 2020

Abstract

How efficient is corporate bankruptcy in the U.S.? Two frictions, asymmetric information and conflicts of interest among creditors, can cause several inefficiencies: excess liquidation, excess continuation, and excess delay. We find that the bankruptcy process is quite inefficient, mainly due to excess delay. Eliminating information asymmetries would increase average total payouts by 4%, and eliminating conflicts of interest would increase them by 18% more. Without these frictions, 14% more cases would be resolved pre-court, and the remaining court cases would be 73% shorter. With less delay, bankruptcy’s indirect costs would be much lower. In contrast, inefficiencies from excess liquidation and excess continuation are quite small.

Keywords: Bankruptcy, structural estimation, conflicts of interest, asymmetric information

Suggested Citation

Dou, Winston Wei and Taylor, Lucian A. and Wang, Wei and Wang, Wenyu, Dissecting Bankruptcy Frictions (November 19, 2020). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming, Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3383837 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3383837

Winston Wei Dou (Contact Author)

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

2318 Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://finance-faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wdou/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/people/winston_wei_dou?page=1&perPage=50

Lucian A. Taylor

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

HOME PAGE: http://finance.wharton.upenn.edu/~luket/

Wei Wang

Queen's University - Smith School of Business ( email )

Queen's University-Smith School of Business
143 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

Wenyu Wang

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance ( email )

1309 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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