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A Gap-Filling Theory of Corporate Debt Maturity Choice

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  • Robin Greenwood
  • Samuel Hanson
  • Jeremy C. Stein

Abstract

We argue that time-series variation in the maturity of aggregate corporate debt issues arises because firms behave as macro liquidity providers, absorbing the large supply shocks associated with changes in the maturity structure of government debt. We document that when the government funds itself with relatively more short-term debt, firms fill the resulting gap by issuing more long-term debt, and vice-versa. This type of liquidity provision is undertaken more aggressively: i) in periods when the ratio of government debt to total debt is higher; and ii) by firms with stronger balance sheets. Our theory provides a new perspective on the apparent ability of firms to exploit bond-market return predictability with their financing choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14087.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14087

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2010. "Financial Innovation and Financial Fragility," NBER Chapters, in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Max Bruche & Anatoli Segura, 2013. "Debt maturity and the liquidity of secondary debt markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55404, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2010. "Neglected Risks, Financial Innovation, and Financial Fragility," Working Papers 502, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Schuster, Philipp & Trapp, Monika & Uhrig-Homburg, Marliese, 2013. "A heterogeneous agents equilibrium model for the term structure of bond market liquidity," CFR Working Papers 13-05 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  5. John R. Graham & Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2014. "A Century of Capital Structure: The Leveraging of Corporate America," NBER Working Papers 19910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robin Greenwood & Samuel G. Hanson, 2011. "Issuer Quality and the Credit Cycle," NBER Working Papers 17197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jinfan Zhang & Hongjun Yan & Dong Lou, 2011. "Anticipated and Repeated Shocks in Liquid Markets," 2011 Meeting Papers 1446, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Chang Nam & Doina Radulescu, 2010. "Effects of corporate tax reform on optimum debt maturity," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 369-389, July.
  9. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Bruno Laranjeira & Scott Weisbenner, 2009. "Corporate Debt Maturity and the Real Effects of the 2007 Credit Crisis," NBER Working Papers 14990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Atanasov, Vladimir & Merrick, John, 2011. "Financial asset demand is elastic: Evidence from new issues of Federal Home Loan Bank debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3225-3239.
  11. Custódio, Cláudia & Ferreira, Miguel A. & Laureano, Luís, 2013. "Why are US firms using more short-term debt?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 182-212.
  12. Adrian, Tobias, 2014. "Financial stability policies for shadow banking," Staff Reports 664, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Choi, Jaewon & Hackbarth, Dirk & Zechner, Josef, 2013. "Granularity of corporate debt," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).

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