The Effects Of Uncertainty On The Leverage Of Nonfinancial Firms
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 InfoArticle provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.
Volume (Year): 47 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
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Other versions of this item:
- Christopher F. Baum & Andreas Stephan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2004. "The Effects of Uncertainty on the Leverage of Non-Financial Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 602, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 27 Jul 2007.
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- D92 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
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