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The Maturity Structure of Corporate Debt


  • Barclay, Michael J
  • Smith, Clifford W, Jr


The authors provide an empirical examination of the determinants of corporate debt maturity. Their evidence offers strong support for the contracting-cost hypothesis. Firms that have few growth options, are large, or are regulated have more long-term debt in their capital structure. The authors find little evidence that firms use the maturity structure of their debt to signal information to the market. The evidence is consistent, however, with the hypothesis that firms with larger information asymmetries issue more short-term debt. The authors find no evidence that taxes affect debt maturity. Copyright 1995 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Maturity Structure of Corporate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 609-631, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:50:y:1995:i:2:p:609-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-465, June.
    2. Steven N. Kaplan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1991. "The Evolution of Buyout Pricing and Financial Structure," NBER Working Papers 3695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1993. "Movements in the Equity Premium," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 75-138.
    4. Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "Betas and Their Regression Tendencies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 785-795, June.
    5. Klemkosky, Robert C & Martin, John D, 1975. "The Adjustment of Beta Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(4), pages 1123-1128, September.
    6. Cornell, Bradford & Green, Kevin, 1991. " The Investment Performance of Low-Grade Bond Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 29-48, March.
    7. Dimson, Elroy, 1979. "Risk measurement when shares are subject to infrequent trading," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 197-226, June.
    8. Steven N. Kaplan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "The Evolution of Buyout Pricing and Financial Structure in the 1980s," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 313-357.
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