Feedback and Contagion through Distressed Competition
The Rodney L. White Center Working Papers Series at the Wharton School
61 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2020 Last revised: 10 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 8, 2020
Firms tend to compete more aggressively in financial distress; the intensified competition in turn reduces profit margins for everyone, pushing some further into distress. To study such feedback and contagion effects, we incorporate dynamic strategic competition into an industry equilibrium with long-term defaultable debt, which generates various peer interactions: predation, self-defense, and collaboration. Such interactions make cash flows, stock returns, and credit spreads interdependent across firms. Moreover, industries with higher idiosyncratic-jump risks are more distressed, yet also endogenously less exposed to aggregate shocks. Finally, we exploit exogenous variations in market structure -- large tariff cuts -- to test the core competition mechanism.
Keywords: Stock and Bond Returns, Supergames, Predatory Price Wars, Collective Entry Prevention, Tacit Collusion, Financial Distress Anomaly
JEL Classification: G12, L13, O33, C73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation