Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Debt, bargaining, and credibility in firm-supplier relationships


Journal of Financial Economics



Authors / Editors

Hennessy C A;Livdan D

Publication Year



We examine optimal leverage for a downstream firm relying on implicit (self-enforcing) contracts with a supplier. Performing a leveraged recapitalization prior to bargaining increases the firm's share of total surplus. However, the resulting debt overhang limits the range of credible bonuses, resulting in low input quality. Optimal financial structure trades off bargaining benefits of debt with inefficiency resulting from overhang. Consistent with empirical evidence, the model predicts that leverage increases with supplier bargaining power (e.g., unionization rates) and decreases with utilization of non-verifiable inputs (e.g., human capital).


Leverage; Debt overhang; Bargaining; Implicit contracts

Available on ECCH


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox