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According to Diamond , older and more established firms find it optimal to choose safe projects without engaging in asset substitution, and adopt longer debt repayments with lower borrowing costs that eventually lead to better and valuable reputation ; on the other hand, younger firms with little reputation tend to invest in risky projects and eventually switch to a safe project if they survive without any default Ibid.

Hirshleifer and Thakor show that the investment policies of firms are distorted in favour of comparatively safe projects because of managerial incentives for building their reputations, whereby their interests are aligned with those of debtholders even though their terms of employment depend on the shareholders. This effect contradicts the popular agency problem of risky debt which is imperfectly protected by covenants which tempt the equity shareholders in favouring excessively risky projects for the purpose of expropriating wealth from debt-holders.

Thus , shareholders can actually be made better off ex ante when the firm is allowed to issue more debt because of conservatism resulting from managerial concern for reputation. The following figure illustrates the agency cost theory.

Journal of Financial Economics, ] Figure 2. What is valued in the marketplace, however, is the perceived stream of returns for the firm. These signals cannot be mimicked by unsuccessful firms who have insufficient cash flow to back them up ; moreover managers have incentives to tell the truth. There would be no signaling equilibrium without management incentives to signal truthfully.

A firm that increases the level of debt or the quantum of dividend payout is signaling that its expected future cash flows are likely to be sufficiently large for meeting debt obligations or dividend payments without enhancing the likelihood of bankruptcy. The following empirical implications may be derived from this model : a the cost of capital is independent of the financing decision of the firm, despite each firm having its own unique level of debt ; and b the value of a firm and its profitability are positively related to its debt-equity ratio Copeland et al.

Leland and Pyle present a model focussing on owners instead of managers. They assume that entrepreneurs have better information about the expected value of their venture projects than do outsiders. Heinkel develops a costless signaling equilibrium model involving capital structure relevance in a perfectly competitive but asymmetrically informed capital market.

Assuming a positive correlation between firm value and credit risk across firms , the model refutes the capital structure irrelevance theorem of Modigliani-Miller , and it is shown that in equilibrium , larger amounts of debt financing are employed by riskier and more valuable firms.

Lee et al. Brennan and Kraus develop a costless signaling equilibrium model for deriving the conditions under which the adverse-selection problem , arising out of information asymmetry and preventing a firm from issuing securities for financing profitable investment opportunites, may be overcome by an appropriate choice of financing instruments that helps in revealing private information regarding its future prospects to outside investors and may depend upon its prior capital structure.

Issues of equity shares along with debt retirements or issues of junior convertible bonds are also considered as examples of financings for the resolution of distinct types of information asymmetry. Brick et al. It is shown that if optimal level of debt and risk are positively related then issue of new equity by decreasing leverage and simultaneous payment of cash dividends enable the higher valued firm to signal its quality.

Constantinides and Grundy develop a fully revealing or separating signaling equilibrium model wherein : a if investment is assumed to be fixed , all types of firms under-take positive net present value investment and repurchase equity shares financed by the issue of a new security in the form of convertible debt whose covenants act as signals ; and b if investment is assumed to be endogenous , different types of firm undertake different optimal levels of investment and repurchase equity shares financed by straight debt with the par value of straight debt and the quantum of investment jointly acting as signals.

Ravid and Sarig generalize dividend signaling and debt signaling models in an intuitive fashion, suggesting that the two financial policies be considered together as parts of a commitment package. According to their propositions, better firms are expected to be more highly leveraged and to pay higher dividends than lower quality firms. They further show that firms that face higher effective corporate tax rates, ceteris paribus, will use more debt financing and pay higher dividends.

It is shown that optimal leverage is negatively related to expected costs of financial distress and to the amount of non-debt tax shields. Moreover , a simulation analysis demonstrates that optimal leverage and variability of earnings are inversely related if costs of financial distress are significant.

Leland and Toft present a model of an optimal capital structure of a firm that can choose both the amount and maturity of its debt , whereby bankruptcy is determined endogenously and not by the imposition of a positive net worth condition or by a cash flow constraint. Optimal leverage ratios , credit spreads, default rates, and write-downs, which are consistent with historical averages are predicted by the model. The optimal maturity of the capital structure is determined by balancing the tax advantage of debt against bankruptcy and agency costs.

John , with a view to examine optimal corporate financing arrangements under asym- metric information in respect of different patterns of temporal resolution of uncertainty in the underlying technology , characterize and compare the associated informational equilibria and the optimal financing arrangements arising from the special cases of an agency problem, a signaling problem and an agency-signaling problem.

It is shown that in the agency- signaling equilibrium , capital structure choices , deviating optimally from agency-cost minimizing financing arrangements and thus inducing risk-shifting incentives in the investment policy , signal the private information of corporate insiders at the time of financing. In the agency costs framework, costs associated with financial distress include the costs of renegotiating the debt contracts of a firm and the opportunity costs of non-optimal production or investment decisions arsing in the event of the firm being in financial distress.

In the bankruptcy cost framework, these costs include the direct and indirect costs of bankruptcy. Bradley et al. The hierarchy of financing choices have been explained from two point of views - one proposed by Donaldson , and the other by Myers and Myers and Majluf Donaldson observes that managers prefer the funding of new investments with retained earnings rather than debt, but also prefer debt to equity financing if retained earnings are not adequate.

Accordingly, firms : a passively accumulate retained earnings and thus become less leveraged when they are profitable, and b accumulate debt and thus become more leveraged when they are unprofitable. Donaldson propounds an explanation based on costs : a firms adopt a hierarchical financing order to avoid expenses incurred during an issuance of equity shares ; and b in the case of financing deficit, firms prefer debt to equity shares as the issuance costs of debt are generally lower than those of equity shares.

The POT originates from the concept of information asymmetry9 which leads to the problem of adverse selection originally identified by Akerlof The problem of adverse selection is similarly present in the capital markets manifested in the relationship between individual firms and their potential investors. Information asymmetry occurs when potential investors, having less information the quality of a firm and its investments than the managers of the firm who have full information, may face difficulties in segregating good quality firm from 9 A situation in which one party in a transaction has relevant and superior information compared to another.

The idea behind the example is that there are good quality cars and bad quality cars. As a compensation for this uncertainty in the ascertainment of quality, the investors would require a higher rate of return, thereby making the funding more expensive for firms. If the firm is required to finance new projects by issuing equity, severe underpricing of equity may allow the new investors to capture more than the NPV of the new project resulting in a net loss to existing shareholders.

If it is less, the firm first draws down its cash balance or marketable securities portfolio. That is, they start with debt, then possibly hybrid securities such as convertible bonds, then perhaps equity as a last resort. In this story, there is no well - defined target debt-equity mix, because there are two kinds of equity, internal and external, one at the top of the pecking order and one at the bottom. So firms prioritize their sources of financing preferring internal financing over external financing ; and if, after utilizing internal funds, external financing is at all required then debt financing is preferred over equity financing.

In general, it will be the cheapest for a firm to use from the least to the most expensive source of finance in the following hierarchical order : internal financing, bank debt, bond market debt, convertible bonds, preference capital, and common equity. There is no target amount of leverage. According to the trade-off model , each firm balances the benefits of debt, such as interest tax shield, with the costs of debt, such as costs of financial distress.

The optimum quantum of leverage occurs at that level where the marginal benefits of debt and the marginal costs of debt become equal. The pecking- order theory , by contrast , does not imply a target amount of leverage. The leverage ratio is rather chosen by each firm based on its financing needs. Projects are first funded out of retained earnings , thus lowering the percentage of debt in the capital structure, because both the book value and the market value of equity are raised by profitable, internally funded projects.

Additional cash needs are met with debt, raising the debt level. Thus, probable availability of projects may be said to determine the amount of leverage. Profitable firms use less debt. Profitable firms depend less on external sources of finance due to their ability of generating internal cash. Since firms desiring the need for external capital take resort to debt first , profitable firms end up relying on less debt.

The trade-off theory does not predict this implication. More profitable firms with greater cash flow are able to generate greater debt capacity to capture the debt tax shield and the other benefits of leverage. Companies like financial slack. The pecking-order theory is based on the constraints of obtaining funds for investments at a reasonable cost. If the managers of a firm try to issue more equity shares , a skeptical potential investor thinks that the share is overvalued , thereby leading to decline in share-price.

Since this happens with debt only to a lesser extent , managers tend to rely first on financing through debt. However , firms can only issue that much debt that would be able to counter the expected costs of financial distress. It will , hence , be easier to have the cash ahead of the time when the actual need for funding investments will arise. This is the idea behind financial slack. Firms will thus accumulate cash today as they know that profitable projects have to be funded at various times in the future and they will not be forced to go to the capital markets.

However, there is a limit to the amount of cash a firm will want to accumulate , so that managers are not tempted to pursue wasteful activities with excessive free cash. Lemmon and Zender suggest a modified version of the pecking order theory, in which each firm has a debt capacity. Halov proposes a model considering a firm without internal funds where the choice of security depends on the current adverse selection cost of the security, the future information environment and the future needs of financing of the firm.

Current debt issues make future security issues more sensitive to the degree of asymmetric information in the issuance period. It is observed that future adverse selection costs affect negatively the debt component of new external financing and positively the cash reserves of the firm, thus explaining the relative preference of companies to equity over debt, and providing an idea about why the incentive for issuing equity depends not only on the extent of asymmetric information in current period but also in future periods Miglo , Halov and Heider present a model showing that more equity and less debt should be employed by a firm if risk plays a major role in the adverse selection problem of external financing.

This helps to explain why large mature firms issue debt and young small firms issue equity. An outside investor presumably knows less about the risk of an investment if he faces a young small non- dividend paying firm than if he faces a large mature dividend paying firm Ibid. These results may be said to explain why firms in growing industries , characterized by the high degree of uncertainty about the rates of growth , do not follow the predictions of POT Ibid.

The current capital structure of a firm is the cumulative effect of past attempts to time the equity market Baker and Wurgler , Market timing theory predicts that an equity offering will be preceded by a period of positive abnormal returns and that the stock price will drop after the announcement of the offering Lucas and McDonald , This theory posits that there is no optimal capital structure because the debt to equity ratio will change whenever there is a market timing behavior.

The first appearance of such explanations is detected by analyzing the historical studies of stock returns, namely, Taggart , Marsh 11 , Asquith and Mullins More recent studies use the Market-to-Book ratio to detect possibilities of timing. Welch and Alti have attempted to explain the timing of the market by using other indicators such as market appreciation of share price. As noted by Miglo , pp. However, a review of prior empirical studies, based directly or indirectly on these theories, is necessary for the identification of the research problem s to be addressed by this study.

The second and third sections of this chapter presents such a review , in chronological order , of the important 1 empirical studies on capital structure in the contexts of International and Indian scenarios respectively. The last section concludes this chapter. It was observed that companies with high proportion of fixed assets tended to use more long- term debt ; and that the ratio of long-term debt to total assets varied widely across industry, and varied irregularly and inversely with size and profitability respectively.

The results slope coefficients of leverage for both electric utilities and oil companies being 0. The empirical results contradicted the M-M propositions and mostly validated the intermediate approach. By incorporating growth of cash flows and firm size as additional explanatory variables in his cross sectional regression study of 59 electrical utilities for , he observed that weighted average cost of capital decreases with leverage which is consistent with the existence of a gain to leverage, that is , tax shield on debt has value.

The market value of the firm was attributed to the present value of operating cash flows generated by: assets-in-place, tax subsidy on debt, growth potential and firm size. Applying one-way analysis of variance tech- nique which used the F-ratio or variance ratio test of statistical significance, they find that, although financial structures within industries does not vary significantly, there are significant differences in the financial structures among different industries for a given 3 Second-order term for leverage.

They also find that there are insignificant differences in equity-ratio or other important financial ratios over time for the same industry and suggest that a relationship between leverage and business risk, as proxied by industry classification, may exist. The analysis indicates the existence of optimal capital structure for each industry and stability of financial structure over time. The study confirmed that leverage measured as the ratio of total debt to total asset were positively related to growth and negatively related to size at the firm level.

Significant industry effect on debt ratio was also found. The results of a one-way analysis of variance test run on firms from nine American industries did not support the hypothesis that industry-class is a determinant of leverage-ratio. Further examination of a sample of four manufacturing industries in five developed countries, namely, France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and the USA led to the conclusion that industry did not appear to be determinant of corporate debt ratio in Netherlands, Norway and the USA, but it did appear to be a determinant in France and Japan.

A, France, Japan, Norway and Netherlands during the period Application of linear Ordinary Least Squares OLS regression meth- odology showed : a significant relationships in all countries except France ; b higher debt levels were found to be associated with higher earnings risks ; c varying cultural perceptions of debt ratios were attributed to varying debt ratios between countries , that is , Japan was expected to have higher debt ratios than the U.

The results of the analysis led to the conclusion that industry class and firm size may be said to determine the financial structure. It was stated that when the debt-equity ratio is below target, firms issue more bonds and less stock and when permanent capital is below the target, firms issue more of both bonds and stock. For a sample containing leverage-increasing and 57 leverage-decreasing exchange offers for the period , highly significant announcement effects were found.

For the Wall Street Journal announce- ment date and the following day, the announcement period return was 7. The author directly examined a sample of 18 non-convertible debt issues without any covenants to protect against the issuance of new debt with equal seniority. The announce- ment period return was observed to be Also, two-day announcement returns of 3.

He developed the descriptive model of the choice between long-term debt and equity and the coefficients of the models were estimated by using logit analysis of sample of issues of equity and debt made by companies over the period The following proxy variables were used as determinants of target debt ratio: i size logarithm of capital employed , ii risk standard deviation of EBIT , and iii asset structure ratio of fixed to total assets. The empirical results indicated positive relations between firm size and debt ratio and fixed assets and debt ratio, and negative relation between risk and debt ratio.

Kendall rank-order and Pearson product- moment correlation coefficients were calculated. The findings for volatility and financial distress costs were consistent with static trade-off theory. The sample was divided into two equal groups : one with comparatively high level of insider ownership and the other with comparatively low level of insider ownership.

The determinants of capital structure taken into consideration were growth, profitability, risk, size and industry classification. The sample included Japanese firms and U. A firms from 27 different industries for the period The debt-equity ratio was measured based on both on market value and book value. The results of the study showed that when leverage was measured on : a market value basis, no significant country differences between U.

A and Japanese manufacturing firms were observed , after control- ling for growth, profitability, risk, size and industry classification ; b book value basis, Japan was found to have significantly higher level of leverage than U. A , although this result was concentrated among the mature and heavy Japanese industries. Based on a sample of firms over the period from to , and using the maximum-likelihood method of estimation, the results of the study indicated that : a product uniqueness was statistically significant and inversely related to debt ratio , consistent with the view that firms which are able to potentially impose high cost on their customers, workers and suppliers in the event of liquidation tend to have lower debt ratios ; b firm size was statistically significant and negatively related to short-term debt ratios , as small firms may be said to incur relatively high transaction costs when issuing long-term securities ; c proftability was significant and negatively related to debt ratio lending support to the pecking order theory.

Applying Kruskal-Wallis test for differences of ranks between multiple samples , it was observed that : a significant country effects and minimum industry effects on capital structure due to cultural differences may be said to exist ; b some inter-country influences on capital structure resulting from similar cultural patterns among group of countries may also be said to exist.

They hypothesized that ceteris paribus, management in closely held corporations would have higher unique risk than in publicly held firms and would have less constraints on its behaviour so that a more negatively significant impact of its investment on debt should be obtained. They further divided these groups into two subgroups : one with non- managerial principal investors and another without non-managerial principal investors.

The empirical analysis , based on a sample of firms over a 34 - quarter period from the third quarter of to the fourth quarter of , tested the hypothesis that firms with large low debt ratio ranges, have a low high effective corporate tax rate , a high low variance of underlying asset value, a small large asset base , and low high bankruptcy costs , applying Weighted Least Squares technique.

Managers of firms indicated that they follow a financing hierarchy pecking order , while that of 47 firms indicated that they seek to maintain a target capital structure. The financing hierarchy showed that the managers first prefer internal equity retained earnings for financing new projects.

The next priority goes to straight debt, convertible debt, external common equity, straight preferred stock and conver- tible preferred stock in a sequence. So the projected cash flow from the asset is the major determinant of the choice of the managers among various sources of capital, leading to the conclusion that pecking order theory may be said to be more likely to be followed by corporate managers than maintaining a target debt-equity ratio.

The results of the application of Probit regression technique showed significant and substantial tax effects on financing choices. The observation of lesser usage of internal finance by firms in developing countries compared to firms in developed countries was attributed to lower retention ratios and varying growth rates.

It was observed that the most important among these variables to influence leverage were firm size, growth, collateral, cash flow and real asset prices. The independent variables used to determine the leverage of the firm included risk, depreciation, research and development expenses R and D , advertising expenses, and growth. The relationship between leverage and growth was found to be insignificantly negative. It was concluded that unique firm-specific assets and skills were the most important determinants of capital structure.

The firm-specific effects contributed most to the variance in leverage, suggesting a strong link between strategy and capital structure. Application of contingency table analysis provides evidence that faster growing firms which have already employed internal sources finance to a greater extent must employ external sources of finance. Moreover , application of logit analysis suggests that firms with lower asymmetric information tend to employ external sources to finance the majority of their required funds with debt being the most preferred choice.

These observations effectively provide more support for the pecking order hypothesis. A single post-event interval of day 2 to 90 depicted a slow, negative effect - 3. Firms with high debt had significant negative market reactions for several intervals ; however, the difference between these firms and firms with low debt was not statistically significant. The cross- sectional study , based on a sample of non-financial firms from to , focused on the following four determinants of capital structure : tangibility of assets, investment opportunities growth , firm size and profitability.

It was observed that Germany and UK were the lowest levered on an average. It was also observed that firms having majority state ownership appeared to employ higher levels of leverage. The study concluded that : a firm leverage, at an aggregate level , were reasonably similar across G-7 countries ; and b though the determinants identified to be related to leverage in the United States by previous cross-sectional studies seem similarly related in other countries as well , a thorough investigation of the evidence conveyed the irresoluteness of the theoretical foundations of the observed relations.

The sample size of firms for was taken for analysis. It was concluded that firms used more public debt if they face lower information and monitoring cost, have a lower likelihood and costs of inefficient liquidation and have fewer incentives to take actions harmful to lenders.

Bank debt use and private non-bank debt use were both statistically related to leverage, the fixed asset ratio and the market-to-book ratio, but the signs of relationships were opposite across the sources. The only similarity found between the determinants of the two sources was that both were negatively related to age. The study is based on a sample of firms for the period to The explanatory variables include past, current, and future values of dividends, interest, earnings, investment, and R and D expenditures.

Controlling for profitability pretax expected net cash flows , the marginal relation between leverage and value is typically negative, rather than positive ; thus pro- ducing no indication that debt has net tax benefits. It seems more likely that leverage conveys information about profitability that is missed by the control variables, although the regressions fail to measure how or whether the tax effects of financing decisions affect firm value. Almost all the variables in both groups entered the cross-sectional regressions with the expected sign for each sample, and most were signif- icant.

But the results for the institutional variables also show that there is more to firm financial behaviour in Japan than is captured by the conventional variables. The results of the study suggest that : i tax effect , signaling effect and agency costs play a significant role in financing decisions ; ii firm owned by single family have significantly higher level of debt and managerial shareholdings influence debt ratio consistently and positively for these firms ; and iii debt ratio is affected negatively by large shareholders implying their potential role of monitoring the manage- ment.

It is observed that movement of a firm towards a target debt ratio seems to more important when choosing between repurchasing of equity and retiring of debt than when choosing between issuances of equity and debt. Pooled and fixed effects models were applied to the data consisting of the largest companies in each country over the period to It was observed that : a debt ratios in developing countries may be said to be affected similarly by the same independent variables that are significant in developed countries ; and b there are systematic differ- ences across countries in the manner by which the debt ratios are affected by macroeco- nomic factors.

The analysis showed that many survey responses differed by firm and management characteristics. The explanatory variables included size, growth, non-debt tax shield, profitability and liquidity. Comparing the statistics, GMM was found as strong esti- mation technique whereas the AH type estimation was found poor and yielded larger variance then GMM.

Profitability, liquidity, non-debt tax shield and growth opportunities were found to be negatively related to leverage whereas size was found to be positively related to leverage. The speed of adjustment toward target level was observed as 0. It was concluded that firms have long-term target leverage ratios and they adjust to the target ratio relatively fast, implying that the costs of being away from their target ratios and the cost of adjustment are equally important for firms.

Book value and market value debt ratios decomposing debt into total debt , long term debt and short trem debt were used as the dependent variable. The results of pooled OLS regressions showing that profitability , size , growth , risk and tangibility significantly affected all types of debt ratios were found to be consistent with the results of fixed effect estimation with the exception that risk was found to loose its significance.

Investment opportunity or Market- to-book value ratio was found to have no significant impact on the debt ratios. Profitability was found to be negatively related to all the debt ratios in all time periods and under all estimation methods , lending support to the pecking order theory. The explanatory variables included size, tangibility, profita- bility and growth opportunities.

OLS regession technique was applied. In case of the first analysis, gearing was found to be significantly positively correlated with tangibility and size, and significantly negatively correlated with profitability and growth opportunities. The results of decompositional analysis showed that : a all the components of short-term and long-term debt were significantly negatively correlated with profitability ; b almost all the components except short-term securitized debt of short-term debt were significantly negatively related to tangibility, whereas all the components of long-term debt demonstrated significant positive correlation ; c size was found to have significant negative correlation with all short-term bank borrowings and significant positive correlation with all long-term debt forms and short-term paper debt ; and d growth opportunities were found to be significantly positively correlated with total current liabilities and trade credit.

It was concluded that a detailed analysis of all forms of corporate debt was required for a fuller understanding of the determinants of capital structure. The results indicated that : a past market timing opportunities, proxied by an external-finance-weighted average of past market-to-book ratios, was statistically significant and negatively related to debt ratios ; b low-leverage high-leverage firms tend to raise funds when their equity valuations were high low ; and c equity market fluctuations have large effects on capital structure that persist for at least a decade.

This study lended much support to the Market Timing Theory of capital structure. It is observed that for the period , the financing deficit coefficient declines sharply from 0. The results for period indicate that the financing deficit coefficient decline from 0. It is conclude that contrary to the pecking order theory, the financing deficit may be said to tracked more closely by net equity issues than by net debt issues.

Moreover , some aspects of pecking order behaviour are exhibited by large firms for the period but the evidence is not robust for the period Four linear models , namely , multiple regres- sion variance-component model, first-order autoregressive model, and variance-component moving average model were applied. It is observed from the results that the determinants of capital structure of the two industries are different.

Among the four linear models, the variance component model has the lowest Root Mean Squared Error RMSE for both industries, indicating that time series and cross-sectional variations play a significant role in analyzing the determinants of capital structure in Taiwanese industry.

It is observed that : i profitability is a major determinant of capital structure for both size groups ; ii efficient assets management and assets growth are found to be essential for the debt structure of LSEs ; and iii efficiency of current assets, size, sales growth and high fixed assets are found to affect substantially the credibility of SMEs.

The observatons imply that the efforts of the SMEs should be focussed on : a increasing their cash flow capacity through better management of assets and achievement of higher exports , b ensuring good banking relations , and c exploring alternative sources of financing ; whereas the LSEs should adopt strategies for improving their competitiveness and securing new sources of financing.

It is observed that : a European and U. The results suggest that optimal capital structure is determined by most firms by trading off factors such as tax advantage of debt, or bankruptcy costs, agency costs, and accessibility to external financing. The sample consisted of Thai , Malaysian , Singaporean, and Australian firms non-financial firms listed on the relevant national stock exchanges for the period to Fixed effect and pooled OLS regression tech- niques were applied.

The results suggest that the capital structure decision of firms is influenced by the environment in which they operate, as well as firm-specific factors identified in previous studies. The study is based on an unbalanced panel data of 4, firm-year observations over the period The size of the firm and its rate of growth have a positive impact on debt at low values of the debt ratios, but a negative impact at high values of the debt ratios.

By contrast, the proportion of net fixed assets has a negligible impact at low values of the debt ratios, but a significantly positive impact at medium or high values of the debt ratios. It is inferred that observed non-linearities in the determinants of capital structure are consistent with the proposed model. The methodology begins with the determination of the relevant determinants of debt in a transitional economy followed by the examination of the potential signaling effects of the relevant determinants of debt.

Panel threshold regression model 7 , which may result in threshold effects and asymmetrical relationships between the debt ratio and firm value , is employed to test for the existence of an optimal debt ratio. A single threshold effect the threshold value being If the current debt ratio is below this optimal debt ratio, the firm will increase its debt ratio and vice versa. Size and assets structure appeared to be significantly positively related to leverage and profitability and growth were found to be significantly negatively related to leverage, lending more support for trade-off theory than the pecking order theory.

The results are consistent with the predictions of the modified pecking order theory whereby firms are less more likely to obtain funds from external capital markets when they have sufficient internal funds large investment needs. Hence , a dynamic rebalancing strategy is followed by firms but adverse selection costs may be an important determinant in their financing decision. The results of cross-sectional OLS regression analysis indicate that leverage : a increases with firm size, sales growth , tax , volatility and tangibility ; b decreases with profitability, non-debt tax shields and growth opportunities ; c correlates with industries ; d is significantly affected by ownership structure ; and e is not significantly affected by state ownership or institutional ownership.

It is concluded that capital structure choices for the sample of Chinese listed companies may be better explained by static trade-off model rather than pecking order hypothesis. The results of pooled and cross-sectional Ordinary Least Squares OLS regressions suggest that the equity risk premium associated with leverage is decreasing in the corporate tax benefit from debt and increasing in the personal tax disadvantage of debt , thus lending empirical support to the theoretical proposition of Modigliani and Miller and De Angelo and Masulis that the association between capital structure and cost of equity is affected by taxes.

It is concluded that the determinants of capital structure in emerging and developed markets appear to converge. Application of Seemingly Unrelated Regression SUR estimation method indicates that : a firm-specific determi- nants of leverage vary across countries in constrast to previous studies implicitly assuming fairly similar impact of these factors across developed and developing countries ; and b country-specific factors directly influencing the firm-specific factors appear to have an indirect effect on leverage.

It is thus concluded that the results support the dynamic trade-off theory instead of the market timing hypothesis of capital structure. Conditional Quantile Regression methodology was applied on an unbalanced panel data of firm9 - year observations over the period The results indicate that debt-equity ratio is : a positively negatively related to firm size for low high -leverage firms ; b positively related to asset tangibility for low-leverage firms ; c negatively related to profitability and non-debt tax shield for high-leverage firms.

It is also noted that this characteristic of the data - generating process of leverage is robust to firm entry and exit , is present before the initial public offering and is unaccounted for by the determinants of capital structure identified in prior studies, sug- gesting that factors remaining stable over long horizons tend to determine the variation in capital structures.

The most reliable factors explaining market leverage along with their observed effect were as follows : median industry leverage positive , market - to - book ratio negative , tangibility positive , profits negative , log of assets 9 Non-financial firms listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Though more or less similar effects were observed when considering book leverage , firm size, market-to- book ratio, and expected inflation were not found to be reliable determinants of book leverage. It is concluded that some versions of the trade-off theory of capital structure may be said to be reasonably supported by the empirical evidence. The similarity in the institutional and financial characteristics of these countries and the commonality of their civil law systems may be attributed for the above results.

However, differences in the size of the coefficients in the country regressions due to firm-specific effects result in structural differences. The results of pooled ordinary least squares regression indicate that net benefits are increasing decreasing in leverage for low high - debt firms , implying the existence of an optimal structure. The NBL captured by the median firm is found to be upto 5.

The investigation is performed using panel data procedures for a sample of firms listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange during The results indicate that debt ratio appears to be : a significantly negatively related to profitability, liquidity, earnings volatility, and tangibility ; b significantly posi- tively related to firm size ; and c not significantly related to non-debt tax shields and growth opportunities.

These findings , being consistent with the predictions of the trade-off theory, pecking order theory, and agency cost theory , suggest that the financing behaviour of Pakistani firms may be explained by capital structure models derived from Western settings. Subsequent application of random intercepts and random coefficients model for analyzing the direct and indirect influences of firm-, industry-and country-level determinants on firm leverage lead to the observations that variables at industry-and country-levels appear to have indirect influences on firm-specific determinants of leverage and several structural differences may be said to exist in the financial behaviour of firms in developed and emerging countries.

The results of panel data regression analysis show that : a firm size , profitability and liquidity are statistically significant and nega- tively related to leverage ratios ; and b growth is statistically significant and positively related to leverage ratios ; thus providing support to the predictions of the Pecking Order Theory. Environments with high munificence have abundant resources, low levels of competition and hence high profitability Dess and Beard, The results of the application of multiple regression and stepwise regression analyses indicate that : a profitability , firm size , non-debt tax shields , earnings volatility and non-circulating shares are significant determinants of leverage in financial sector ; b capital structure choice is affected by institutional characteristic ; and c large state ownerships appear to influence capital structure decision even though the determinants of capital structure of financial firms are reasonably similar to those in other industries.

The above observations imply that the trade-off theory has limited power for explaining the capital structure decisions of listed Chinese financial companies which appear to follow a different pecking order preferring external financing to internal sources. However, the link between excess leverage and future fundamentals may not be entirely understood by the market. Since excess leverage and leverage are positively correlated, leverage is negatively correlated with future returns in the absence of controls for excess leverage.

Simulataneous consideration of both leverage and excess leverage renders future returns to be associated with excess leverage, but not debt levels. High low kink firms are found to have lower higher probability of financial distress, and lower higher exposure to a distress risk factor challenging the explanation provided by distress cost.

Cross-sectional analysis of the relation between the kink and future returns does not seem to support other potential explanations related to stock options as a tax shield, foreign repatriation taxes, and intensity of Research and Development. The analysis is conducted on a sample of French listed companies over the period from to The empirical results indicate that : a trade-off hypothesis and the financing deficit variable of the pecking order hypothesis are complementary ; b market conditions do not appear to have any significant and meaningful impact on debt ratio without any confir- mation of simple or extendend form of market timing effect ; and c the lagged leverage ratio is relevant in all tests thus confirming the existence of a dynamic process of adjustment to a target level.

The results confirmed the existence of non-linear effects between debt ratio and the explanatory variables of firm size and profitability. However, such non- linear effects did not appear to arise in case of the explanatory variables of asset tangibility and non-debt tax shield. The non-linear speeds of cross-sectional adjustment to target leverage were also confirmed to exist.

The empirical results indicate that zero-debt firms : a do not appear to have weaker internal or external governance 16 Pooled conditional quantile regression was applied instead of fixed effects- or random effects- conditional quantile regression. The findings indicate : a the existence of an interaction between market timing and pecking order effects ; b that financially unconstrained firms issue repurchase equity when their shares are overvalued underval- ued ; c that overvalued issuers of equity earn lower post announcement long-run returns ; and d undervalued issuers of equity prefer debt to equity financing.

The empirical results show that pecking order theory favour estimation of the empirical models explaining the financial structure. These findings signify the role that probability of bankruptcy, agency costs, transaction costs, tax issues, information asymmetry problems, access to finance and market timing play in capital structure decisions of firms in Africa. Conditional quantile regression methodology was applied to the pooled data The results indicate that firm-specific and industry -specific characteristics rather than corporate governance variables play a significant role in determining leverage levels.

The results imply that finance policies need to vary across firm type and firm characteristics, and should match with the different borrowing requirements of listed firms. The empirical results confirm significant changes in the effects of the explanatory variables depending on the quantile , which may be explained by bankruptcy and agency costs associated to the quantum of debt in the capital structure of firms , relative to each quantile.

Conditioning on the determinant , nature of debt and the quantile analysed , the predictions of the trade- off and pecking order theories are then examined. The resultant observations in respect of size and profitability indicate the suitable application of the pecking order theory with increase in quantile.

The empirical observations indicate that : a a non-linear relationship 17 Pooled conditional quantile regression was applied instead of fixed effects- or random effects- conditional quantile regression which may be said to be panel data - conditional quantile regession in the truest sense. The balanced panel data sample comprised of companies listed on the İstanbul Stock Exchange ISE over the period The dependent variable s included three different measures of leverage short-term, long-term and total debt ratios, all at market values.

The explanatory variables included firm-specific factors namely , profitability , tangibility of assets , size, growth opportunities , and non-debt tax shields and macro-economic factors economic development, inflation and taxes. Fixed effects panel data regression analysis was applied. From the results it was concluded that trade-off theory was less successful than the pecking order hypothesis in explaining the capital structure of the sample of Turkish companies.

The results indicate no sig- nificant evidence of an economically important optimal capital structure. The issue of low - leveraged firms operating and surviving for a long period of time without being targeted for acquisition , was also addressed by the study. It is observed that firms facing attractive growth opportunities appear to increase leverage or firms raise capital by borrowing when compelled to do so or when poor operating performances reduce equity value , thus lending support to the pecking-order hypothesis.

Applications of ANOVA and OLS regression techniques result in the observations that : a in case of small unlisted companies , the country-specific factors explain most of the variation in leverage , while the firm-specific factors appear to be the major determinants of variation in leverage in case of listed and large unlisted companies ; and b macroe- conomic and institutional factors explain around half of the variation in leverage related to country factors , while unmeasurable institutional differences explain the remainder.

The results from the application of correlation and regression techniques indicated that capital structure decision - making process and source of financing were significantly influenced by macroeconomic factors. Application of conditional quantile regression to the pooled data 18 showed that significant differences appear to exist between firms in different quantiles of leverage with the signs of the explanatory variables changing with the quantiles. It is concluded that the capital structure policy of a firm should be responsive to the firm-specific factors and should match with the different borrowing requirements of listed firms.

The empirical results show that : a listed companies in Latvia , compared to the other countries , appeared to have the lowest debt ratio ; and b companies adjust their debt levels according to target debt , thus lending no support to the pecking order theory. Since capital structure decisions may be influenced differently through firm-specific variables owing to the different financial systems bank- oriented or market-oriented of European economies , the determinants of capital structure for each country are initially analysed separately leading to the subsequent examination of the relevancy of the observed differences in capital structure decisions between the United Kingdom and the continental European countries.

The results show that : a the type of financial systems of the countries bank-oriented and market-oriented and the firm-specific factors account for the major portion of the substantial differences in the 18 Pooled conditional quantile regression was applied instead of fixed effects- or random effects- conditional quantile regression which may be said to be panel data - conditional quantile regession in the truest sense.

The results indicate evidence of heterogeneity in the determinants of capital structure, the data being more consistent with the trade-off theory than the pecking order theory in but only economic conditions mattering in The findings of the study suggest that issued securities move firms toward target debt ratios and that firms also tend to issue more equity following a share price run-up, consistent with both the trade-off hypothesis and managerial efforts to time market sentiment thus extending little support for the standard pecking order hypothesis.

Profitability directly increases the value of equity. The predicted offsetting actions of issuing debt and repurchasing equity when profitability rises, and retiring debt and issuing equity when profitability falls , are not taken by the firms.

Consistent with variable transactions costs, the adjustment is not generally sufficient to fully undo the profitability shocks. Consequently, the leverage ratio, on average, falls as profitability rises. The study also applies conditional quantile regression to pooled data, apart from OLS regression. Based on an unbalanced panel data of non-financial firm-year observations ranging from , to , over the period from to and using the linear model of Lemmon et al.

The results suggested higher- order terms were significant. The chains within a pyramid structure , however , are not found to have any significant effect on capital structure. In the regions having better institutional environment , the effect of the layers of pyramid structure on capital structure becomes smaller compared to the regions having poor institutional environment. The results suggest that the impact of leverage determinants does not vary with leverage with the exception of asset tangibility and age, whose effect increased with leverage.

It is concluded that for the case of South Africa, studies that estimate the impact of leverage at the mean are still valid and appropriate. The results of the application of Quantile regressions [ Quantile Regression for Panel Data QRPD introduced by Powell and Simultaneous Quantile Regression SQR for cross- sectional data over each time period ] to a sample of Chinese listed companies over the period to , indicate increasing sensitivity of corporate leverage to some of its core determinants over time.

Specifically , profitability is found to increasingly act as a constraint on corporate leverage during recent years , which may contribute to further increases in corporate leverage over time considering the low profitability across the Chinese non-financial corporate sector at the present time. Applying Two Stage Least Squares TSLS regression on the data, they observed that the magnitude of coefficient of the leverage variable was greater than that of the tax rate variable, thus concluding that debt, apart from its tax advantage, also affects the cost of capital in agreement of the traditional approach and contrary to M-M Hypothesis.

The major findings of the study included : a age, retained earnings, and profitability were negatively correlated with the debt equity ratio, while total assets and capital intensity were directly related to it ; b cost of capital was almost invariant to the debt-equity ratios ; and c the average cost of capital for firms in the consumer goods industry was the highest while it was the lowest for the belonging to the intermediate goods industry, primarily because of low debt content in the capital structure in case of former category of industry as compared to the later.

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