Executive Compensation, Macroeconomic Conditions, and Cash Flow Cyclicality
Finance Research Letters,
I model the joint effects of debt, macroeconomic conditions, and cash flow cyclicality on risk-shifting behavior and managerial wealth-for-performance sensitivity. The model shows that risk-shifting incentives rise during recessions and that the shareholders can eliminate such adverse incentives by reducing the equity-based compensation in managerial contracts. Moreover, this reduction should be larger in highly procyclical firms. These novel, testable predictions provide insights into optimal shareholder responses to agency costs of debt throughout the business cycle.
Managerial Biases and Debt Contract Design: The Case of Syndicated Loans
We examine whether managerial overconfidence impacts the use of performance-pricing provisions in loan contracts (performance-sensitive debt [PSD]). Managers with biased views may issue PSD because they consider this form of debt to be mispriced. Our evidence shows that overconfident managers are more likely to issue rate-increasing PSD than regular debt. They choose PSD with steeper performance-pricing schedules than those chosen by rational managers. We reject the possibility that overconfident managers have (persistent) positive private information and use PSD for signaling. Finally, firms seem to benefit less from using PSD ex post if they are managed by overconfident rather than rational managers.
Internal Governance and Creditor Governance: Evidence from Credit Default Swaps
IWH Discussion Papers,
I study the relation between internal governance and creditor governance. A deterioration in creditor governance may increase the agency costs of debt and managerial opportunism at the expense of shareholders. I exploit the introduction of credit default swaps (CDS) as a negative shock to creditor governance. I provide evidence consistent with shareholders pushing for a substitution effect between internal governance and creditor governance. Following CDS introduction, CDS firms reduce managerial risk-taking incentives relative to other firms. At the same time, after the start of CDS trading, CDS firms increase managerial wealth-performance sensitivity, board independence, and CEO turnover performance-sensitivity relative to other firms.
Hold-up and the Use of Performance-sensitive Debt
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We examine whether performance-sensitive debt (PSD) is used to reduce hold-up problems in long-term lending relationships. We find that the use of PSD is more common in the presence of a long-term lending relationship and if the borrower has fewer financing alternatives available. In syndicated deals, however, the presence of a relationship lead arranger reduces the use of PSD because a lead arranger has little incentive to hold-up a client. Further supporting the hypothesis that hold-up concerns motivate the use of PSD, we find a substitution effect between the use of PSD and the tightness of financial covenants.