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Debt maturity, risk, and asymmetric information

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  • Allen N. Berger
  • Marco A. Espinosa-Vega
  • W. Scott Frame
  • Nathan H. Miller

Abstract

We test the implications of Flannery’s (1986) and Diamond’s (1991) models concerning the effects of risk and asymmetric information in determining debt maturity, and we examine the overall importance of informational asymmetries in debt maturity choices. We employ data from more than 6,000 commercial loans from 53 large U.S. banks. Our results for low-risk firms are consistent with the predictions of both theoretical models, but our findings for high-risk firms conflict with the predictions of Diamond’s model and with much of the empirical literature. Our findings also suggest a strong quantitative role for asymmetric information in explaining debt maturity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2004-32.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2004-32

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  1. Allen Berger, 2006. "Potential Competitive Effects of Basel II on Banks in SME Credit Markets in the United States," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 5-36, February.
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  6. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Kanatas, George, 1985. "Asymmetric Valuations and the Role of Collateral in Loan Agreements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(1), pages 84-95, February.
  7. Dennis, Steven & Nandy, Debarshi & Sharpe, Lan G., 2000. "The Determinants of Contract Terms in Bank Revolving Credit Agreements," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 87-110, March.
  8. Frame, W Scott & Srinivasan, Aruna & Woosley, Lynn, 2001. "The Effect of Credit Scoring on Small-Business Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 813-25, August.
  9. Kale, Jayant R & Noe, Thomas H, 1990. "Risky Debt Maturity Choice in a Sequential Game Equilibrium," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association & Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 13(2), pages 155-65, Summer.
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  15. Boot, Arnoud & Thakor, Anjan V. & Udell, Gregory F., 1987. "Competition, risk neutrality and loan commitments," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 449-471, September.
  16. Barnea, Amir & Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1980. " A Rationale for Debt Maturity Structure and Call Provisions in the Agency Theoretic Framework," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(5), pages 1223-34, December.
  17. Diamond, Douglas W. & Rajan, Raghuram G., 2001. "Banks, short-term debt and financial crises: theory, policy implications and applications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 37-71, June.
  18. Flannery, Mark J, 1986. " Asymmetric Information and Risky Debt Maturity Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 19-37, March.
  19. Mark Carey S. & Stephen Prowse & John Rea & Gregory Udell, 1993. "The economics of the private placement market," Staff Studies 166, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Maturity Structure of Corporate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 609-31, June.
  21. Frederick C. Scherr & Heather M. Hulburt, 2001. "The Debt Maturity Structure of Small Firms," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 30(1), Spring.
  22. Stohs, Mark Hoven & Mauer, David C, 1996. "The Determinants of Corporate Debt Maturity Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(3), pages 279-312, July.
  23. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-37, August.
  24. Mitchell, Karlyn, 1993. "The Debt Maturity Choice: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association & Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 16(4), pages 309-20, Winter.
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