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National culture and corporate debt maturity

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  • Zheng, Xiaolan
  • El Ghoul, Sadok
  • Guedhami, Omrane
  • Kwok, Chuck C.Y.
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    Abstract

    We investigate the influence of national culture on corporate debt maturity choice. Based on the framework of Williamson, we argue that culture located in social embeddedness level can shape contracting environments by serving as an informal constraint that affects human actors’ incentives and choices in market exchange. We therefore expect national culture to be related to debt maturity structure after controlling for legal, political, financial, and economic institutions. Using Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions (uncertainty avoidance, collectivism, power distance, and masculinity) as proxies for culture, and using a sample of 114,723 firm-years from 40 countries over the 1991–2006 period, we find robust evidence that firms located in countries with high uncertainty avoidance, high collectivism, high power distance, and high masculinity tend to use more short-term debt. We interpret our results as consistent with the view that national culture helps explain cross-country variations in the maturity structure of corporate debt.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 468-488

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:2:p:468-488

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

    Related research

    Keywords: National culture; Debt maturity; Agency theory; Capital structure;

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    Cited by:
    1. Lievenbrück, Martin & Schmid, Thomas, 2014. "Why do firms (not) hedge? — Novel evidence on cultural influence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 92-106.
    2. Arosa, Clara Maria Verduch & Richie, Nivine & Schuhmann, Peter W., 2014. "The impact of culture on market timing in capital structure choices," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 178-192.
    3. Breuer, Wolfgang & Rieger, M. Oliver & Soypak, K. Can, 2014. "The behavioral foundations of corporate dividend policy a cross-country analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 247-265.
    4. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John W., 2014. "Cross-national differences in access to finance: Influence of culture and institutional environments," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 193-211.
    5. Brian Lucey & Colm KEarney & Ciaran MacAnBhaird, 2012. "Culture and capital structure in small and medium sized firms," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp419, IIIS.
    6. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John W., 2013. "Political-economy of pension plans: Impact of institutions, gender, and culture," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1860-1879.
    7. Wang, Daphne & Esqueda, Omar A., 2014. "National cultural effects on leverage decisions: Evidence from emerging-market ADRs," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 152-177.
    8. Frijns, Bart & Gilbert, Aaron & Lehnert, Thorsten & Tourani-Rad, Alireza, 2013. "Uncertainty avoidance, risk tolerance and corporate takeover decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2457-2471.
    9. Xue, Minggao & Cheng, Wen, 2013. "National culture, market condition and market share of foreign bank," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 991-997.

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