Decomposing Fire Sale Discounts
74 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2021 Last revised: 16 May 2022
Date Written: May 1, 2022
The paper decomposes the raw fire sale discount into a quality component, a misallocation component, and a residual liquidity component. We find that distressed airlines under-maintain their fleets and, this quality impairment explains half of the discount. We find no evidence of misallocation to lower productivity users. While the raw discounts are much larger for Chapter 7 than Chapter 11 transactions, the difference is largely explained by longer periods of under-maintenance and consequently lower quality of aircraft sold in Chapter 7. The evidence suggests that the magnitude of welfare losses associated with fire sales are likely to be overstated.
Keywords: fire sale, bankruptcy, under maintenance
JEL Classification: G33, D24, L93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation