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Capital Structure and Firm Efficiency

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  • Dimitris Margaritis
  • Maria Psillaki

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between firm efficiency and leverage. We consider both the effect of leverage on firm performance as well as the reverse causality relationship. In particular, we address the following questions: Does higher leverage lead to better firm performance? Does efficiency exert a significant effect on leverage over and above that of traditional financial measures of capital structure? Is the effect of efficiency on leverage similar across different capital structures? What is the signalling role of efficiency to creditors or investors? Using a sample of 12,240 New Zealand firms we find evidence supporting the theoretical predictions of the Jensen and Meckling (1976) agency cost model. Efficiency measured as the distance from the industry's 'best practice' production frontier is positively related to leverage over the entire range of observed data. The frontier is constructed using the non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method. Using quantile regression analysis we show that the reverse causality effect of efficiency on leverage is positive at low to mid-leverage levels and negative at high leverage ratios. Firm size also has a non-monotonic effect on leverage: negative at low debt ratios and positive at mid to high debt ratios. The effect of tangibles and profitability on leverage is positive while intangibles and other assets are negatively related to leverage. Copyright 2007 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitris Margaritis & Maria Psillaki, 2007. "Capital Structure and Firm Efficiency," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(9-10), pages 1447-1469.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:34:y:2007-11:i:9-10:p:1447-1469
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bartholdy, Jan & Mateus, Cesário, 2006. "Debt and Taxes: Evidence from bank-financed unlisted firms," Finance Research Group Working Papers F-2006-02, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mazen Kebewar, 2013. "The effect of Debt on Corporate Profitability :Evidence from French Service Sector," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 56(1), pages 43-59.
    2. Mazen Kebewar, 2012. "La structure du capital et la profitabilité : Une étude empirique sur données de panel françaises," Working Papers hal-00751212, HAL.
    3. Mazen Kebewar, 2012. "L'Endettement Affecte-T-Il La Profitabilité? Le Cas Des Firmes Agro-Alimentaires Françaises," Working Papers halshs-00756972, HAL.
    4. repec:eee:jebusi:v:94:y:2017:i:c:p:32-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Wu, Feng & Guan, Zhengfei, 2008. "Farm Capital Structure Choice under Credit Constraint: Theory and Application," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6130, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Mazen Kebewar, 2012. "La structure du capital et la profitabilité : Le cas des entreprises industrielles françaises," Working Papers halshs-00758410, HAL.
    7. Dong Xiang & Abul Shamsuddin & Andrew C Worthington, 2011. "A comparative technical, cost and profit efficiency analysis of Australian, Canadian and UK banks: Feasible efficiency improvements in the context of controllable and uncontrollable factors," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201119, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    8. Dong Xiang & Abul Shamsuddin & Andrew Worthington, 2015. "The differing efficiency experiences of banks leading up to the global financial crisis: A comparative empirical analysis from Australia, Canada and the UK," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(2), pages 327-346, April.
    9. Kebewar, mazen & SHAH, Syed Muhammad Noaman Ahmed, 2012. "The effect of debt on corporate profitability: Evidence from French service sector," MPRA Paper 43304, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kebewar, Mazen, 2013. "Does debt affect profitability? An empirical study of French trade sector," EconStor Preprints 73185, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    11. Hanousek, Jan & Kočenda, Evžen & Shamshur, Anastasiya, 2015. "Corporate efficiency in Europe," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 24-40.
    12. Mazen Kebewar, 2012. "L'Impact De L'Endettement Sur La Profitabilité Une Étude Empirique Sur Données Françaises En Panel," Working Papers halshs-00749685, HAL.
    13. Ghosh, Saibal, 2009. "Productivity and Financial Structure: Evidence from Indian High-Tech Firms," MPRA Paper 19467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Kebewar, Mazen & Shah, Syed Muhammad Noaman Ahmed, 2013. "The effect of debt on corporate profitability: Evidence from French service sector," EconStor Preprints 73556, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    15. repec:kap:jbuset:v:146:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2882-z is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Mazen Kebewar & Ahmed Shah Syed Muhammad Noaman, 2013. "The effect of debt on corporate profitability Evidence from French service sector," Working Papers halshs-00825178, HAL.
    17. Sánchez-Vidal, F. Javier, 2014. "High debt companies' leverage determinants in Spain: A quantile regression approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 455-465.
    18. Močnik Dijana & Širec Karin, 2015. "Determinants Of A Fast-Growing Firm’s Profits: Empirical Evidence For Slovenia," Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, De Gruyter Open, vol. 62(1), pages 37-54, April.
    19. Sabri Boubaker & Taher Hamza, 2014. "Does managerial overconfidence matter in explaining debt financing policy?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(4), pages 2324-2339.
    20. Margaritis, Dimitris & Psillaki, Maria, 2010. "Capital structure, equity ownership and firm performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 621-632, March.
    21. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Betzer, André & Gider, Jasmin, 2008. "Do corporate governance motives drive hedge funds and private equity activities?," CEFS Working Paper Series 2008-11, Technische Universität München (TUM), Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS).

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