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Agency costs, taxes and debt: The UK evidence

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  • M. Ameziane Lasfer

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical examination of the impact of the corporation tax and agency costs on firms' capital structure decisions. Our evidence suggests that the agency costs are the main determinants of corporate borrowing. Consistent with the agency theory, we find that firms that have fewer growth options have more debt in their capital structure. Moreover, our results show that debt mitigates the free cash flow problem and that firms that are more likely to be diversified and less prone to bankruptcy are highly geared. the negative effect of insider shareholding on leverage disappears, however; when all the agency mechanisms are accounted for. In addition, we find that, in the long run, companies that are tax exhausted exhibit significantly lower debt ratios than tax-paying firms. However, in the short run, firms' capital structure decisions are not affected by taxation. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 1995.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Ameziane Lasfer, 1995. "Agency costs, taxes and debt: The UK evidence," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 1(3), pages 265-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eufman:v:1:y:1995:i:3:p:265-285
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    Cited by:

    1. Faccio, Mara & Lasfer, M. Ameziane, 2000. "Do occupational pension funds monitor companies in which they hold large stakes?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 71-110, March.
    2. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Rosina Moreno & Jordi Caralt, 2005. "Ownership structure and innovation: is there a real link?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 39(4), pages 637-662, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Faris Nasif Al-Shubiri, 2011. "Capital Structure and Market Power: Evidence from Jordanian Banks," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 9(3), pages 289-310.
    5. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
    6. Jang-Shee Barry Lin, 2016. "Corporate Leverage, Firm Characteristics and Financial Crisis," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 5306914, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    7. Goergen, Marc & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Investment policy, internal financing and ownership concentration in the UK," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 257-284, September.
    8. Juan Manuel San Martín Reyna, 2012. "An Empirical Examination of Ownership Structure, Earnings Management and Growth Opportunities in Mexican Market," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 2(7), pages 103-123, December.
    9. Pawlina, G. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2005. "Is Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivity Caused by the Agency Costs or Asymmetric Information? Evidence from the UK," Discussion Paper 2005-001, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Viet Anh Dang, 2005. "Testing the Trade-off and Pecking Order Theory: Some UK Evidence," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 28, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    13. Pablo de Andrés-Alonso & Valentín Azofra-Palenzuela & Juan A. Rodríguez-Sanz, 2000. "Endeudamiento, oportunidades de crecimiento y estructura contractual: un contraste empírico para el caso español," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 24(3), pages 641-679, September.
    14. A. A. Bevan & J. Danbolt, 2004. "Testing for inconsistencies in the estimation of UK capital structure determinants," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 55-66.
    15. Suhaila, Mat Kila & Wan Mahmood, Wan Mansor, 2008. "Capital Structure and Firm Characteristics: Some Evidence from Malaysian Companies," MPRA Paper 14616, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Aggarwal, Raj & Kyaw, NyoNyo Aung, 2010. "Capital structure, dividend policy, and multinationality: Theory versus empirical evidence," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 140-150, March.

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