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The Capital Structure Decisions of New Firms

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  • Alicia M. Robb
  • David T. Robinson

Abstract

We study capital structure choices that entrepreneurs make in their firms' initial year of operation, using restricted-access data from the Kauffman Firm Survey. Firms in our data rely heavily on external debt sources, such as bank financing, and less extensively on friends-and-family-based funding sources. Many startups receive debt financed through the personal balance sheets of the entrepreneur, effectively resulting in the entrepreneur holding levered equity claims in their startups. This fact is robust to numerous controls, including credit quality. The reliance on external debt underscores the importance of credit markets for the success of nascent business activity. The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 153-179

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:27:y:2014:i:1:p:153-179

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  1. Fairlie, Robert W. & Krashinsky, Harry A., 2011. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship Revisited," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6hv0m2q6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Puri, Manju & Robinson, David T., 2007. "Optimism and economic choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 71-99, October.
  3. Andy Cosh & Douglas Cumming & Alan Hughes, 2009. "Outside Enterpreneurial Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1494-1533, October.
  4. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
  5. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Da Rin & Thomas F. Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2011. "A survey of venture capital research," NBER Working Papers 17523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rodrigo Canales & Ramana Nanda, 2008. "A Darker Side to Decentralized Banks: Market Power and Credit Rationing in SME Lending," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-101, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2011.
  3. Hui Chen & Jianjun Miao & Neng Wang, . "Entrepreneurial Finance and Non-diversifiable Risk," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2009-018, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Brown, Martin & Degryse, Hans & Höwer, Daniel & Penas, María Fabiana, 2012. "How do banks screen innovative firms? Evidence from start-up panel data," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-032, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Pelger, Ines, 2012. "Male vs. female business owners: Are there differences in investment behavior?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62016, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Jim Wilkinson & Jon Christensson, 2011. "Can the supply of small business loans be increased?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II.
  7. Julia Hirsch & Uwe Walz, 2009. "Financing Decisions Along a Firm’s Life Cycle: Debt as a Commitment Device," Working Papers 0409, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
  8. Cerqueiro, G.M. & Penas, M.F., 2011. "How Does Personal Bankruptcy Law Affect Start-ups?," Discussion Paper 2011-043, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.

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