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Target Behavior and Financing: How Conclusive Is the Evidence?

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  • XIN CHANG
  • SUDIPTO DASGUPTA
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    Abstract

    The notion that firms have a debt ratio target that is a primary determinant of financing behavior is influential in finance. Yet, how definitive is the evidence? We address this issue by generating samples where financing is unrelated to a firm's current debt ratio or a target. We find that much of the available evidence in favor of target behavior based on leverage ratio changes can be reproduced for these samples. Taken together, our findings suggest that a number of existing tests of target behavior have no power to reject alternatives. Copyright (c) 2009 the American Finance Association.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (08)
    Pages: 1767-1796

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:64:y:2009:i:4:p:1767-1796

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    Cited by:
    1. Wu, Xueping & Au Yeung, Chau Kin, 2012. "Firm growth type and capital structure persistence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3427-3443.
    2. Dudley, Evan, 2012. "Capital structure and large investment projects," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1168-1192.
    3. Löffler, Gunter & Maurer, Alina, 2011. "Incorporating the dynamics of leverage into default prediction," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3351-3361.
    4. Zhou, Qing & Faff, Robert & Alpert, Karen, 2014. "Bias correction in the estimation of dynamic panel models in corporate finance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 494-513.
    5. Mitchell Berlin, 2011. "Can we explain banks' capital structures?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 1-11.
    6. Koh, SzeKee & Durand, Robert B. & Watson, Iain, 2011. "Seize the moment: Opportunism in Australian capital markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 374-389, September.
    7. Vermaelen, Theo & Xu, Moqi, 2014. "Acquisition finance and market timing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 73-91.
    8. Hess, Dieter & Immenkötter, Philipp, 2014. "How much is too much? Debt capacity and financial flexibility," CFR Working Papers 14-03, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    9. Dang, Viet Anh, 2013. "An empirical analysis of zero-leverage firms: New evidence from the UK," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 189-202.
    10. Tarek Ghazouani, 2013. "The Capital Structure through the Trade-Off Theory: Evidence from Tunisian Firm," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(3), pages 625-636.
    11. Hovakimian, Armen & Li, Guangzhong, 2011. "In search of conclusive evidence: How to test for adjustment to target capital structure," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 33-44, February.
    12. Drobetz, Wolfgang & Gounopoulos, Dimitrios & Merikas, Andreas & Schröder, Henning, 2013. "Capital structure decisions of globally-listed shipping companies," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 49-76.
    13. Ovtchinnikov, Alexei V., 2010. "Capital structure decisions: Evidence from deregulated industries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 249-274, February.
    14. de Jong, Abe & Verbeek, Marno & Verwijmeren, Patrick, 2011. "Firms' debt-equity decisions when the static tradeoff theory and the pecking order theory disagree," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1303-1314, May.
    15. Faulkender, Michael & Flannery, Mark J. & Hankins, Kristine Watson & Smith, Jason M., 2012. "Cash flows and leverage adjustments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 632-646.
    16. Cho, Seong-Soon & El Ghoul, Sadok & Guedhami, Omrane & Suh, Jungwon, 2014. "Creditor rights and capital structure: Evidence from international data," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 40-60.
    17. Hanifa, Mohamed Hisham & Masih, Mansur & Bacha, Obiyathulla, 2014. "Testing Sukuk And Conventional Bond Offers Based On Corporate Financing Theories Using Partial Adjustment Models: Evidence From Malaysian Listed Firms," MPRA Paper 56953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Bae, Kee-Hong & Kang, Jun-Koo & Wang, Jin, 2011. "Employee treatment and firm leverage: A test of the stakeholder theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 130-153, April.
    19. Gao, Ning, 2011. "The adverse selection effect of corporate cash reserve: Evidence from acquisitions solely financed by stock," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 789-808, September.

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