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Continuous Signaling Within Partitions: Capital Structure and the FIFO/LIFO Choice

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  • Patricia J. Hughes

    (University of Southern California)

  • Eduardo S. Schwartz

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Anjan V. Thakor

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Abstract

This paper considers a setting in which managers have private information about the values of their firms and can communicate it to uninformed investors through the use of two signals: capital structure and inventory accounting method. We show conditions under which a separating equilibrium with debt alone does not exist. The two-signal equilibrium involves a partitioned separation in which the highest quality firms choose FIFO and the lower quality firms choose LIFO, and all firms then distinguish themselves with these two partitions through capital structure choices. The analysis helps to explain the many observed empirical regularities about firms' capital structure choices and LIFO/FIFO choices and, in addition, produces numerous testable predictions about the relation between capital structure and inventory accounting method.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/fin/papers/0411/0411054.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 0411054.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 30 Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0411054

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Ambarish, Ramasastry & John, Kose & Williams, Joseph, 1987. " Efficient Signalling with Dividends and Investments," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 321-43, June.
  2. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-61, May.
  3. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Spence, Michael, 1974. "Competitive and optimal responses to signals: An analysis of efficiency and distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 296-332, March.
  5. Datar, Srikant M. & Feltham, Gerald A. & Hughes, John S., 1991. "The role of audits and audit quality in valuing new issues," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-49, March.
  6. Zmijewski, Mark E. & Hagerman, Robert L., 1981. "An income strategy approach to the positive theory of accounting standard setting/choice," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 129-149, August.
  7. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
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