Creditor rights and corporate risk-taking

Viral V. Acharya, Yakov Amihud, Lubomir Litov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


We propose that stronger creditor rights in bankruptcy affect corporate investment choice by reducing corporate risk-taking. In cross-country analysis, we find that stronger creditor rights induce greater propensity of firms to engage in diversifying acquisitions that are value-reducing, to acquire targets whose assets have high recovery value in default, and to lower cash-flow risk. Also, corporate leverage declines when creditor rights are stronger. These relations are usually strongest in countries where management is dismissed in reorganization and are also observed over time following changes in creditor rights. Our results thus identify a potentially adverse consequence of strong creditor rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-166
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Bankruptcy code
  • Corporate reorganization
  • Diversification
  • Investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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