Real Assets and Capital Structure
AbstractWe characterize the relation between asset structure and capital structure by exploiting variation in the salability of corporate assets. Theory suggests that asset tangibility increases borrowing capacity because it allows creditors to more easily repossess a firm's assets. Tangible assets, however, are often illiquid. We show that the redeployability of tangible assets is a main determinant of corporate leverage --- beyond standard proxies for tangibility. To establish this link, we distinguish across different asset categories in firms' balance sheets (e.g., machinery, land and buildings) and use an instrumental approach that incorporates measures of supply and demand for those individual assets. We also use a natural experiment driving differential increases in the supply of real estate assets in some regions of the country: The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990. Consistent with a credit supply-side view of capital structure, we find that asset redeployability is a particularly important driver of leverage for firms that are likely to face credit frictions (e.g., small, unrated firms). Our tests also show that asset redeployability facilitates borrowing the most during periods of tight credit in the economy. Our work contributes new evidence to capital structure models that are based on contract incompleteness and limited enforceability. It does so characterizing a well-defined channel through which credit frictions affect firm financial decisions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18147.
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Oscar Arce & Jose Manuel Campa & Angel Gavilan, 2012.
"Macroeconomic Adjustment under Loose Financing Conditions in the Construction Sector,"
1226, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
- Arce, Óscar & Manuel Campa, José & Gavilán, Ángel, 2013. "Macroeconomic adjustment under loose financing conditions in the construction sector," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 19-34.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.