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Testing Static Trade-off Against Pecking Order Models of Capital Structure

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  • Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder
  • Stewart C. Myers
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    Abstract

    This paper tests traditional capital structure models against the alternative of a pecking order model of corporate financing. The basic pecking order model, which predicts external debt financing driven by the internal financial deficit, has much greater explanatory power than a static trade-off model which predicts that each firm adjusts toward an optimal debt ratio. We show that the power of some usual tests of the trade-off model is virtually nil. We question whether the available empirical evidence supports the notion of an optimal debt ratio.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4722.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4722.

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    Date of creation: Apr 1994
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    Publication status: published as Journal of Financial Economics, February 1999
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4722

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    1. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    3. Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "The effects of capital structure change on security prices : A study of exchange offers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 139-178, June.
    4. Taggart, Robert A, Jr, 1977. "A Model of Corporate Financing Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1467-84, December.
    5. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-44, March.
    6. Fuller, Wayne A. & Battese, George E., 1974. "Estimation of linear models with crossed-error structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-78, May.
    7. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
    8. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1986. "Valuation effects of corporate debt offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 119-151.
    9. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    10. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
    11. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
    12. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
    13. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. " Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-93, December.
    14. Shyam-Sunder, Lakshmi, 1991. "The Stock Price Effect of Risky versus Safe Debt," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(04), pages 549-558, December.
    15. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    16. Michael S. Long & Ileen B. Malitz, 1985. "Investment Patterns and Financial Leverage," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Capital Structures in the United States, pages 325-352 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Jalilvand, Abolhassan & Harris, Robert S, 1984. " Corporate Behavior in Adjusting to Capital Structure and Dividend Targets: An Econometric Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 127-45, March.
    19. Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. " On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-78, July.
    20. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    21. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    22. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    23. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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