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Capital structure and the firm under uncertainty

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  • Broll, Udo
  • Wong, Kit Pong
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the interplay between the real and financial decisions of the competitive firm `a la Sandmo. Besides output price uncertainty, the firm faces additional sources of risk which are aggregated into an additive background risk. We show that the firm always chooses its optimal debt-equity ratio to minimize the weighted average cost of capital, irrespective of the risk attitude of the firm and the incidence of the multiple sources of uncertainty. Even though the introduction of the background risk affects neither the optimal debt-equity ratio nor the marginal rate of technical substitution, it does have an adverse effect on the output level of the firm. Furthermore, if capital is a normal input, the presence of the background risk induces the firm to acquire less capital by issuing less debt and equity. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics in its series Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 20/03.

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    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuddps:2003

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    Postal: 01062 Dresden
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    Fax: ++49 351 463 7739
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    Web page: http://www.tu-dresden.de/wiwi/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Background risk; Capital structure; Price uncertainty;

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    1. Dotan, Amihud & Ravid, S Abraham, 1985. " On the Interaction of Real and Financial Decisions of the Firm under Uncertainty," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(2), pages 501-17, June.
    2. Hite, Gailen L., 1977. "Leverage, output effects, and the M-M theorems," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 177-202, March.
    3. Thomas H. Noe, 1988. "Capital Structure and Signaling Game Equilibria," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(4), pages 331-355.
    4. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Kit, Pong Wong, 1997. "On the determinants of bank interest margins under credit and interest rate risks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 251-271, February.
    7. Wong, Kit Pong, 1996. "Background Risk and the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Uncertainty," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 241-51, July.
    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. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
    10. 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.
    11. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
    12. 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.
    13. Cooper, Ian & Franks, Julian R, 1983. " The Interaction of Financing and Investment Decisions When the Firm Has Unused Tax Credits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 571-83, May.
    14. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Edwardo S, 1978. "Corporate Income Taxes, Valuation, and the Problem of Optimal Capital Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 103-14, January.
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    17. Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-22, September.
    18. Batra, Raveendra N & Ullah, Aman, 1974. "Competitive Firm and the Theory of Input Demand under Price Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 537-48, May/June.
    19. Narayanan, M. P., 1988. "Debt versus Equity under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 39-51, March.
    20. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-20, June.
    21. Broll, Udo & Chow, Kong Wing & Wong, Kit Pong, 2001. "Hedging and Nonlinear Risk Exposure," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 281-96, April.
    22. Barnea, Amir & Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1981. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Debt Financing under Costly Tax Arbitrage and Agency Problems," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(3), pages 569-81, June.
    23. Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
    24. 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.
    25. Dammon, Robert M & Senbet, Lemma W, 1988. " The Effect of Taxes and Depreciation on Corporate Investment and Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 357-73, June.
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