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Determinants of leasing propensity in Canadian listed companies

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  • Antonello Callimaci
  • Anne Fortin
  • Suzanne Landry
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between a firm's propensity to lease and several firm characteristics: tax position, financial constraint, ownership structure, growth, and size. Design/methodology/approach – Controlling for industry, total lease share, operating and capital lease share ratios, obtained using an income statement approach, are regressed on a trichotomous tax variable, a dichotomous cash flow coverage ratio variable, debt over fixed assets, ownership concentration, market to book value of shares and the natural log of sales. Findings – Total lease share increases with leverage, tax position and growth; it decreases with cash flow coverage, ownership concentration and firm size. Results for operating lease share are similar to those for total lease share. In contrast, capital lease share decreases with tax position and increases with ownership concentration and size. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that leasing offers added debt capacity and increases in financially constrained firms. Firms that pay high taxes seem to place more value on the constant stream of tax deductions from the rental payments than on deductions from decreasing interest costs and amortization. Finally, highly concentrated Canadian firms may use less leasing because they are more family-controlled. Originality/value – The literature offers mixed reasons for firms' decisions to lease or purchase assets. This study provides further evidence in a rich setting. In 2001, the Canadian tax authorities changed the tax treatment of leases, thus providing an opportunity to validate prior results on the impact of taxes on leasing. By including two different measures of financial constraint, this study disentangles the substitution and the added debt capacity hypotheses.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Managerial Finance.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 259-283

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmfpp:v:7:y:2011:i:3:p:259-283

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    Related research

    Keywords: Canada; Cash flow coverage; Corporate ownership; Growth; Leasing; Leverage; Ownership; Taxation;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Adriano A. Rampini, 2009. "Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1621-1657, April.
    2. Hamid Mehran & Robert A. Taggart & David Yermack, 1999. "CEO Ownership, Leasing, and Debt Financing," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 28(2), Summer.
    3. Graham, John R., 1996. "Debt and the marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-73, May.
    4. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. Mike Adams & Philip Hardwick, 1998. "Determinants of the leasing decision in United Kingdom listed companies," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(5), pages 487-494.
    6. Smith, Clifford W, Jr & Wakeman, L MacDonald, 1985. " Determinants of Corporate Leasing Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 895-908, July.
    7. M.Ameziane Lasfer & Mario Levis, 1998. "The Determinants of the Leasing Decision of Small and Large Companies," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 4(2), pages 159-184.
    8. Ang, James & Peterson, Pamela P, 1984. " The Leasing Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1055-65, September.
    9. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    10. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sharpe, Steven A. & Nguyen, Hien H., 1995. "Capital market imperfections and the incentive to lease," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 271-294.
    12. Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Priority Structure of Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 899-917, July.
    13. Lewis, Craig M. & Schallheim, James S., 1992. "Are Debt and Leases Substitutes?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 497-511, December.
    14. Graham, John R., 1996. "Proxies for the corporate marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 187-221, October.
    15. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
    16. Stulz, ReneM. & Johnson, Herb, 1985. "An analysis of secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 501-521, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Landry, Suzanne & Fortin, Anne & Callimaci, Antonello, 2013. "Family firms and the lease decision," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 176-187.

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