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The Effects Of Uncertainty On The Leverage Of Nonfinancial Firms

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  • CHRISTOPHER F. BAUM
  • ANDREAS STEPHAN
  • OLEKSANDR TALAVERA

Abstract

"This paper investigates the link between the optimal level of nonfinancial firms' short-term leverage and macroeconomic and idiosyncratic sources of uncertainty. We develop a structural model of a firm's value maximization problem that predicts a negative relationship between uncertainty and optimal levels of borrowing. This proposition is tested using a panel of nonfinancial U.S. firms drawn from the COMPUSTAT quarterly database covering the period 1993-2003. The estimates confirm that as either form of uncertainty increases, firms decrease their levels of short-term leverage. This effect is stronger for macroeconomic uncertainty than for idiosyncratic uncertainty. " Copyright (c) 2008 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher F. Baum & Andreas Stephan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2009. "The Effects Of Uncertainty On The Leverage Of Nonfinancial Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 216-225, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:47:y:2009:i:2:p:216-225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2010. "The response of firms' leverage to uncertainty: Evidence from UK public versus non-public firms," Working Papers 2010019, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.
    2. Natalia Nehrebecka & Michał Brzozowski, 2016. "Wpływ niepewności makroekonomicznej na oszczędności przedsiębiorstw," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 5, pages 51-69.
    3. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Boyan Liu, 2010. "The impact of macroeconomic uncertainty on firms' changes in financial leverage," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 22-30.
    4. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2013. "The Effects of Future Capital Investment and R&D Expenditures on Firms' Liquidity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 459-474, August.
    5. Roberto Álvarez & Andrés Sagner & Carla Valdivia, 2012. "Liquidity Crises and Corporate Cash Holdings in Chile," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 50(4), pages 378-392, December.
    6. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2014. "The Response Of Firms' Leverage To Risk: Evidence From Uk Public Versus Nonpublic Manufacturing Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 341-363, January.
    7. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2017. "Capital structure adjustments: Do macroeconomic and business risks matter?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 1463-1502, December.
    8. Yassine Bakkar & Olivier De Jonghe & Amine Tarazi, 2017. "Does banks' systemic importance affect their capital structure adjustment process?," Working Papers hal-01546995, HAL.
    9. Christopher F Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2010. "Corporate Liquidity Management and Future Investment Expenditures," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 001, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    10. repec:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12197-016-9370-x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. McKee, Gregory & Larsen, Ryan, 2012. "The Effects of Uncertainty and Capital Source on Cooperative Firm Leverage," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 40(2).
    12. Rashid, Abdul, 2013. "Risks and financing decisions in the energy sector: An empirical investigation using firm-level data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 792-799.
    13. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:262-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Yassine Bakkar & Olivier De Jonghe & Amine Tarazi, 2017. "Does banks' systemic importance affect their capital structure and balance sheet adjustment processes?," Working Papers hal-01636253, HAL.
    15. Sinha, Pankaj & Agnihotri, Shalini, 2015. "Macroeconomic risk and firms financing decision: An empirical panel data investigation using system GMM," MPRA Paper 67088, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Sep 2015.
    16. Joseph P. Byrne & Marina-Eliza Spaliara & Serafeim Tsoukas, 2016. "Firm Survival, Uncertainty, And Financial Frictions: Is There A Financial Uncertainty Accelerator?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 375-390, January.
    17. repec:eee:corfin:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:248-260 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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