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Leverage, investment, and firm growth

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  • Lang, Larry
  • Ofek, Eli
  • Stulz, Rene M.

Abstract

We show that there is a negative relation between leverage and future growth at the firm level and, for diversified firms, at the segment level. Further, this negative relation between leverage and growth holds for firms with low Tobin's q, but not for high-q firms or firms in high-q industries. Therefore, leverage does not reduce growth for firms known to have good investment opportunities, but is negatively related to growth for firms whose growth opportunities are either not recognized by the capital markets or are not sufficiently valuable to overcome the effects of their debt overhang.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 3-29

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:40:y:1996:i:1:p:3-29

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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References

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  1. Merton H. Miller, 1991. "Leverage," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 6-13.
  2. Lindenberg, Eric B & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Tobin's q Ratio and Industrial Organization," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-32, January.
  3. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
  4. Lang, Larry H. P. & Stulz, ReneM. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1989. "Managerial performance, Tobin's Q, and the gains from successful tender offers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 137-154, September.
  5. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Smith, C.W. & Watts, R.L., 1992. "The Investment Oppotunity set and Corporate Financing, Dividend and Compensation Policies," Papers 92-02, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
  7. Opler, Tim C & Titman, Sheridan, 1994. " Financial Distress and Corporate Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1015-40, July.
  8. Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. " On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-78, July.
  9. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," Working Papers 94-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  11. Steven A. Sharpe, 1993. "Financial market imperfections, firm leverage and the cyclicality of employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Richard Cantor, 1990. "Effects of leverage on corporate investment and hiring decisions," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 31-41.
  13. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
  14. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  15. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  16. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1995. "Do Financing Constraints Explain Why Investment is Correlated with Cash Flow?," NBER Working Papers 5267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Richard W. Kopcke & with Mark M. Howrey, 1994. "A panel study of investment: sales, cash flow, the cost of capital, and leverage," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 9-30.
  18. Whited, Toni M, 1992. " Debt, Liquidity Constraints, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1425-60, September.
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