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The maturity structure of debt : determinants and effects on firms'performance - evidence from the United Kingdom and Italy

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  • Schiantarelli, Fabio
  • Sembenelli, Alessandro

Abstract

The authors empirically investigate the determinants and consequences of the maturity structure of debt, using data from a panel of UK and Italian firms. They find that in choosing a maturity structure for debt, firms'tend to match assets and liabilities. They conclude that more profitable firms'(as measured bythe ratio of cash flow to capital) tend to have more long-term debt. The data do not support the hypothesis that short-term debt, through better monitoring and control, boosts efficiency and growth -rather, the opposite can be concluded. In both countries, the data suggest a positive relationship between initial debt maturity and the firms'subsequent medium-term performance (i.e., profitability and growth in real sales). In both countries total factor productivity (TFP) depends positively on the length of debt maturity when the maturity variable is entered both contemporaneously and lagged. But in Italy the positive effect of the length of maturity on productivity is substantially reduced or even reversed when the proportion of subsidized credit increases. The authors: document the relationship between firms'characteristics and their choice of shorter or long-term debt by estimating a maturity equation and interpreting the results in light of insights from theoretical literature, and by analyzing the effects of maturity on firms'later performance in terms of profitability, growth, and productivity; assess how TFP depends on the degree of leverage and the proportion of longer and shorter-term debt; and analyze the relationship between firms'debt maturity and investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1699.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1699

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Keywords: Municipal Financial Management; Financial Intermediation; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Economic Theory&Research; Banks&Banking Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Municipal Financial Management; Banks&Banking Reform; Environmental Economics&Policies; Financial Intermediation;

References

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  1. Schiantarelli, Fabio & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 1996. "Form of ownership and financial constraints : panel data evidence from leverage and investment equations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1629, The World Bank.
  2. Opler, Tim C & Titman, Sheridan, 1994. " Financial Distress and Corporate Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1015-40, July.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  5. Lang, Larry & Ofek, Eli & Stulz, Rene M., 1996. "Leverage, investment, and firm growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-29, January.
  6. Demirguc-Kunt, Ash & Levine, Ross, 1996. "Stock Market Development and Financial Intermediaries: Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 291-321, May.
  7. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1995. "How Does Financial Pressure Affect Firms?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0266, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  9. Diamond, Douglas W., 1993. "Seniority and maturity of debt contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-368, June.
  10. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  11. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  12. 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.
  13. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
  16. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
  17. Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1990. "Financial distress, reorganization, and organizational efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 419-444, October.
  18. 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.
  19. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-37, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher F. Baum & Dorothea Schäfer & Oleksandr Talavera, 2006. "The Effects of Short-Term Liabilities on Profitability: The Case of Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 635, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Gatti, Roberta & Love, Inessa, 2008. "Does access to credit improve productivity? Evidence from Bulgarian firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6676, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Chen, Minjia & Guariglia, Alessandra, 2013. "Internal financial constraints and firm productivity in China: Do liquidity and export behavior make a difference?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1123-1140.
  4. Ignacio Munyo, 2004. "The Determinants of Capital Structure: Evidence from an Economy without Stock Market," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 267, Econometric Society.
  5. Silvia Giannangeli & Giorgio Fagiolo & Massimo Molinari, 2008. "Financial Structure and Corporate Growth: Evidence from Italian Panel Data," LEM Papers Series 2008/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  6. Christopher F. Baum & Dorothea Schäfer & Oleksandr Talavera, 2006. "The Effects of Short-Term Liabilities on Profitability: A Comparison of German and US Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 636, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Apr 2007.

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