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Horses and Rabbits? Optimal Dynamic Capital Structure from Shareholder and Manager Perspectives

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  • Nengjiu Ju
  • Robert Parrino
  • Allen M. Poteshman
  • Michael S. Weisbach

Abstract

This paper examines optimal capital structure choice using a dynamic capital structure model that is calibrated to reflect actual firm characteristics. The model uses contingent-claim methods to value interest tax shields, allows for reorganization in bankruptcy, and maintains a long-run target debt/equity ratio by refinancing maturing debt. Using this model we calculate optimal capital structures in a realistic representation of the traditional tradeoff' model. In contrast to previous research, the resulting optimal capital structures do not imply that firms tend to use too little leverage in practice. We also estimate the costs borne by a firm whose capital structure deviates from its optimal, target' debt/equity ratio. The costs of moderate deviations are relatively small, suggesting that a policy of adjusting leverage only when it deviates substantially from a target debt/equity ratio is likely to be reasonable for most firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9327.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: published as Ju, Nengjiu, Robert Parrino, and Allen Poteshman and Michael Steen Weisbach. “Horses and Rabbits? Optimal Dynamic Capital Structure from Shareholders’ and Managers’ Perspectives." Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 40 (June 2005): 259-281.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9327

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  1. Kane, Alex & Marcus, Alan J. & McDonald, Robert L., 1985. "Debt Policy and the Rate of Return Premium to Leverage," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 479-499, December.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hayne E. Leland., 1998. "Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-278, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Leland, Hayne E, 1994. " Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-52, September.
  6. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  9. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  10. Hayne E. Leland and Klaus Bjerre Toft., 1995. "Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-259, University of California at Berkeley.
  11. Goldstein, Robert & Ju, Nengjiu & Leland, Hayne, 2001. "An EBIT-Based Model of Dynamic Capital Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(4), pages 483-512, October.
  12. Alex Kane & Alan J. Marcus & Robert L. McDonald, 1985. "How Big is the Tax Advantage to Debt?," NBER Working Papers 1286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  14. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  15. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  16. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Black, Fischer & Cox, John C, 1976. "Valuing Corporate Securities: Some Effects of Bond Indenture Provisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 351-67, May.
  18. Graham, John R., 1996. "Proxies for the corporate marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 187-221, October.
  19. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
  2. Ralph de Haas & Marga Peeters, 2004. "The Dynamic Adjustment towards Target capital Structures of Firms in," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 123, Netherlands Central Bank.
  3. Philippe GAUD & Martin HOESLI & André BENDER, 2004. "Further Evidence on Debt-Equity Choice," FAME Research Paper Series rp114, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  4. Jianjun Miao, 2011. "Optimal Capital Structure and Industry Dynamics," CEMA Working Papers 440, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  5. Cole, Rebel, 2008. "What do we know about the capital structure of privately held firms? Evidence from the Surveys of Small Business Finance," MPRA Paper 8086, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. R.T.A. de Haas & H.M.M. Peeters, 2004. "Firms' Dynamic Adjustment to Target Capital Structures in Transition Economies," Finance 0405014, EconWPA.

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