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A Gap-Filling Theory of Corporate Debt Maturity Choice

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  • ROBIN GREENWOOD
  • SAMUEL HANSON
  • JEREMY C. STEIN

Abstract

We argue that time variation in the maturity of corporate debt arises because firms behave as macro liquidity providers, absorbing the supply shocks associated with changes in the maturity structure of government debt. We document that when the government funds itself with more short-term debt, firms fill the resulting gap by issuing more long-term debt, and vice versa. This type of liquidity provision is undertaken more aggressively: (1) when the ratio of government debt to total debt is higher and (2) by firms with stronger balance sheets. Our theory sheds new light on market timing phenomena in corporate finance more generally. Copyright (c) 2010 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): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 993-1028

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:3:p:993-1028

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gennaioli, Nicola & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2012. "Neglected risks, financial innovation, and financial fragility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 452-468.
  2. Max Bruche & Anatoli Segura, 2013. "Debt maturity and the liquidity of secondary debt markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55404, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Dong Lou & Hongjun Yan & Jinfan Zhang, 2013. "Anticipated and Repeated Shocks in Liquid Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(8), pages 1891-1912.
  4. Adrian, Tobias, 2014. "Financial stability policies for shadow banking," Staff Reports 664, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Schuster, Philipp & Trapp, Monika & Uhrig-Homburg, Marliese, 2013. "A heterogeneous agents equilibrium model for the term structure of bond market liquidity," CFR Working Papers 13-05 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  6. John Graham & Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2014. "A Century of Capital Structure: The Leveraging of Corporate America," NBER Working Papers 19910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Custódio, Cláudia & Ferreira, Miguel A. & Laureano, Luís, 2013. "Why are US firms using more short-term debt?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 182-212.
  8. Veronique Vermoesen & Marc Deloof & Eddy Laveren, 2013. "Long-term debt maturity and financing constraints of SMEs during the Global Financial Crisis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 433-448, August.
  9. Chang Nam & Doina Radulescu, 2010. "Effects of corporate tax reform on optimum debt maturity," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 369-389, July.
  10. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2010. "Financial Innovation and Financial Fragility," NBER Chapters, in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robin Greenwood & Samuel G. Hanson, 2011. "Issuer Quality and the Credit Cycle," NBER Working Papers 17197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Atanasov, Vladimir & Merrick, John, 2011. "Financial asset demand is elastic: Evidence from new issues of Federal Home Loan Bank debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3225-3239.
  13. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Bruno Laranjeira & Scott Weisbenner, 2009. "Corporate Debt Maturity and the Real Effects of the 2007 Credit Crisis," NBER Working Papers 14990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Choi, Jaewon & Hackbarth, Dirk & Zechner, Josef, 2013. "Granularity of corporate debt," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).

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