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Long-term debt and overinvestment agency problem

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  • D'Mello, Ranjan
  • Miranda, Mercedes
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    Abstract

    We investigate the role of long-term debt in influencing overinvestments by analyzing the pattern of abnormal investments around a new debt offering by unlevered firms. Before being levered when the disciplining role of debt is missing, firms retain excessive amounts of cash. The introduction of debt leads to a dramatic decline in cash ratios and the relation is stronger for firms classified as having poor investment opportunities. For the sub-sample of firms that overinvest in real assets, issuing debt leads to a reduction in abnormal capital expenditures. The decline in overinvestments is explained by debt service obligations that reduce discretionary funds under managerial control. Further, the reduction in overinvestments has a positive impact on equity value. These conclusions hold in other settings where there is a dramatic change in firms' capital structures providing strong support for the hypothesis that debt reduces overinvestments.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 324-335

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:2:p:324-335

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    Related research

    Keywords: Debt issues Agency costs Overinvestments;

    References

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    1. D'Mello, Ranjan & Krishnaswami, Sudha & Larkin, Patrick J., 2008. "Determinants of corporate cash holdings: Evidence from spin-offs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1209-1220, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. John Knight & Sai Ding and Alessandra Guariglia, 2010. "Does China overinvest? Evidence from a panel of Chinese firms," Economics Series Working Papers 520, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Cutillas Gomariz, Mª Fuensanta & Sánchez Ballesta, Juan Pedro, 2014. "Financial reporting quality, debt maturity and investment efficiency," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 494-506.
    3. Lai, Kam-Wah, 2011. "The cost of debt when all-equity firms raise sfinance: The role of investment opportunities, audit quality and debt maturity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1931-1940, August.
    4. Drobetz, Wolfgang & Grüninger, Matthias C. & Hirschvogl, Simone, 2010. "Information asymmetry and the value of cash," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2168-2184, September.
    5. Juan Pedro Sánchez Ballesta & M. Fuensanta Cutillas Gomariz, 2012. "Financial reporting quality, debt maturity and investment efficiency," Working Papers. Serie EC 2012-07, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    6. Kayo, Eduardo K. & Kimura, Herbert, 2011. "Hierarchical determinants of capital structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 358-371, February.
    7. 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.

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