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The Effects Of Uncertainty On The Leverage Of Nonfinancial Firms

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  • CHRISTOPHER F. BAUM
  • ANDREAS STEPHAN
  • OLEKSANDR TALAVERA

Abstract

"This paper investigates the link between the optimal level of nonfinancial firms' short-term leverage and macroeconomic and idiosyncratic sources of uncertainty. We develop a structural model of a firm's value maximization problem that predicts a negative relationship between uncertainty and optimal levels of borrowing. This proposition is tested using a panel of nonfinancial U.S. firms drawn from the COMPUSTAT quarterly database covering the period 1993-2003. The estimates confirm that as either form of uncertainty increases, firms decrease their levels of short-term leverage. This effect is stronger for macroeconomic uncertainty than for idiosyncratic uncertainty. " Copyright (c) 2008 Western Economic Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 47 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 216-225

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:47:y:2009:i:2:p:216-225

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  1. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1998. "Investment, Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Working Papers 6652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. n/a, 1999. "An Artificial Neural Network System of Leading Indicators," NIESR Discussion Papers 198, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach, 1985. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Working Papers 1151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Neslihan Ozkan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2004. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Uncertainty on Cash Holdings for Non-Financial Firms," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 410, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1777-1804, 08.
  7. Inessa Love, 2003. "Financial Development and Financing Constraints: International Evidence from the Structural Investment Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 765-791, July.
  8. Nicholas Bloom & Steve Bond & John Van Reenen, 2001. "The dynamics of investment under uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W01/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. R. Glenn Hubbard & Anil K Kashyap & Toni M. Whited, 1995. "Internal Finance and Firm Investment," NBER Working Papers 4392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Joseph P. Byrne & E. Philip Davis, 2005. "Investment and Uncertainty in the G7," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 1-32, April.
  11. Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 2000. "The Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Investment in Small and Large Businesses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 338-343, May.
  12. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2013. "The Effects of Future Capital Investment and R&D Expenditures on Firms' Liquidity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 459-474, 08.
  2. Roberto Álvarez & Andrés Sagner & Carla Valdivia, 2012. "Liquidity Crises and Corporate Cash Holdings in Chile," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 50(4), pages 378-392, December.
  3. Rashid, Abdul, 2013. "Risks and financing decisions in the energy sector: An empirical investigation using firm-level data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 792-799.
  4. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Boyan Liu, 2008. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Uncertainty on Firms' Changes in Financial Leverage," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 688, Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Christopher F Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2010. "Corporate Liquidity Management and Future Investment Expenditures," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 001, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  6. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2014. "The Response Of Firms' Leverage To Risk: Evidence From Uk Public Versus Nonpublic Manufacturing Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 341-363, 01.

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