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Capital Structure and Regulation: Do Ownership and Regulatory Independence Matter?

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  • Bortolotti, Bernardo
  • Cambini, Carlo
  • Rondi, Laura
  • Spiegel, Yossi

Abstract

We construct a comprehensive panel data of 92 publicly traded European utilities over the period 1994-2005 in order to study the relationship between capital structure, regulated prices, and firm value, and examine if and how this interaction is affected by ownership structure and regulatory independence. We show that regulated firms in our sample tend to have a higher leverage if they are privately-controlled and if they are regulated by an independent regulatory agency. Moreover, we find that the leverage of these firms has a positive and significant effect on their regulated prices, but not vice versa, and it also has a positive and significant effect on their market values. Our results are consistent with the theory that privately-controlled firms use leverage strategically to shield themselves against regulatory opportunism.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7100.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7100

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Keywords: capital structure; leverage; private and state ownership; Regulated utilities; regulatory agencies; regulatory independence;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Francisca Bremberger & Carlo Cambini & Klaus Gugler & Laura Rondi, 2013. "Dividend Policy in Regulated Firms," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/53, European University Institute.
  2. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Does government ideology influence deregulation of product markets? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 135-155, April.
  3. Bernardo Bortolotti & Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2011. "Regulatory Independence, Ownership and Firm Value: The Role of Political Institutions," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/43, European University Institute.
  4. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2010. "Incentive regulation and investment: evidence from European energy utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-26, August.
  5. Schmitt, Stephan & Kucsera, Denes, 2013. "The Impact of the Regulatory Reform Process on R&D Investment of European Electricity Utilities," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80035, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2011. "Independence, Investment and Political Interference: Evidence from the European Union," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/42, European University Institute.
  7. Sandro Brusco & Ornella Tarola & Sandro Trento, 2012. "Timing of Investment and Dynamic Pricing in Privatized Sectors," DISA Working Papers 2012/01, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised Jan 2012.
  8. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2009. "Access Regulation, Financial Structure and Investment in Vertically Integrated Utilities:Evidence from EU Telecoms," RSCAS Working Papers 2009/68, European University Institute.
  9. Gugler, Klaus & Rammerstorfer, Margarethe & Schmitt, Stephan, 2013. "Ownership unbundling and investment in electricity markets — A cross country study," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 702-713.
  10. Bortolotti, Bernardo & Cambini, Carlo & Rondi, Laura, 2013. "Reluctant regulation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 804-828.
  11. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2010. "Regulatory Independence and Political Interference: Evidence from EU Mixed-Ownership Utilities’ Investment and Debt," Working Papers 2010.69, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Cambini, Carlo & Spiegel, Yossi, 2011. "Investment and capital structure of partially private regulated firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8508, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Godfrey Charles-Cadogan & John A. Cole, 2013. "Bankruptcy Risk Induced by Career Concerns of Regulators," Papers 1312.7346, arXiv.org.
  14. Howell, Bronwyn, 2013. "Broadband regulation and government investment in nationwide ultra fast fribre broadband networks: Evidence from New Zealand," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88469, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).

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