Optimal leverage, its benefits, and the business cycle
AbstractWe study the effect of the business cycle on optimal capital structure choice and the benefit to leverage. We propose a regime switching model with a state-dependent cash flow process to capture macroeconomic risk in a firm's cash flow. Our model is parsimonious but still realistic and allows for a wide range of analysis. We find pro-cyclical optimal leverage ratios, benefits to leverage, and costs of operating at a non-optimal leverage. If macroeconomic risk decreases, i.e. earnings become more stable and growth rates less volatile, optimal leverage and its benefits increase due to lower default risk. The regime switching property of EBIT traces observed EBIT paths closely and is applicable to a wide range of corporate valuation models. Our model offers novel empirically testable implications, such as higher tax benefits after the change in macroeconomic risk since the late 1980s and common capital structure adjustments in recessions and around turning points. --
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 University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR) in its series CFR Working Papers with number 11-12.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Albertus Magnus Platz, 50923 Köln
Phone: 0221 / 470 5607
Fax: 0221 / 470 5179
Web page: http://cfr-cologne.de/english/version06/html/home.php
More information through EDIRC
capital structure; macroeconomic risk; regime switching; benefit to leverage;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
- 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-2011-10-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2011-10-09 (Business Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2011-10-09 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael R. Roberts & Mark T. Leary, 2004.
"Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?,"
Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings
52, Econometric Society.
- Harjoat S. Bhamra & Lars-Alexander Kuehn & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2010. "The Aggregate Dynamics of Capital Structure and Macroeconomic Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(12), pages 4187-4241, December.
- Joost Driessen, 2005. "Is Default Event Risk Priced in Corporate Bonds?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 165-195.
- K.J. Martijn Cremers & Joost Driessen & Pascal Maenhout, 2008.
"Explaining the Level of Credit Spreads: Option-Implied Jump Risk Premia in a Firm Value Model,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(5), pages 2209-2242, September.
- Martijn Cremers & Joost Driessen & Pascal Maenhout & David Weinbaum, 2005. "Explaining the level of credit spreads: option-implied jump risk premia in a firm value model," BIS Working Papers 191, Bank for International Settlements.
- Francisco Covas & Wouter J. Den Haan, 2011. "The Cyclical Behavior of Debt and Equity Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 877-99, April.
- Hui Chen, 2010.
"Macroeconomic Conditions and the Puzzles of Credit Spreads and Capital Structure,"
NBER Working Papers
16151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hui Chen, 2010. "Macroeconomic Conditions and the Puzzles of Credit Spreads and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2171-2212, December.
- Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn & Veldkamp, Laura, 2006.
"Learning asymmetries in real business cycles,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 753-772, May.
- Korajczyk, Robert A. & Levy, Amnon, 2003. "Capital structure choice: macroeconomic conditions and financial constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 75-109, April.
- Dirk Hackbarth & Jianjun Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2004.
"Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions,"
FAME Research Paper Series
rp125, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
- Hackbarth, Dirk & Miao, Jianjun & Morellec, Erwan, 2006. "Capital structure, credit risk, and macroeconomic conditions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 519-550, December.
- Dirk Hackbarth & Jianjun Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2005. "Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions," CEMA Working Papers 439, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Dirk Hackbarth & Junjian Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2005. "Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.