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Can Managers Successfully Time the Maturity Structure of Their Debt Issues?

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  • ALEXANDER W. BUTLER
  • GUSTAVO GRULLON
  • JAMES P. WESTON

Abstract

This paper provides a rational explanation for the apparent ability of managers to successfully time the maturity of their debt issues. We show that a structural break in excess bond returns during the early 1980s generates a spurious correlation between the fraction of long-term debt in total debt issues and future excess bond returns. Contrary to Baker, Taliaferro, and Wurgler (2006) , we show that the presence of structural breaks can lead to nonsense regressions, whether or not there is any small sample bias. Tests using firm-level data further confirm that managers are unable to time the debt market successfully. Copyright 2006 by The American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander W. Butler & Gustavo Grullon & James P. Weston, 2006. "Can Managers Successfully Time the Maturity Structure of Their Debt Issues?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1731-1758, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:61:y:2006:i:4:p:1731-1758
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robin Greenwood & Samuel Hanson & Jeremy C. Stein, 2010. "A Gap-Filling Theory of Corporate Debt Maturity Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 993-1028, June.
    2. Andrea J. Heuson & Gary Painter, 2011. "The Impact of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 on Housing Turnover in the U.S. Single Family Residential Market," Working Paper 8509, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    3. Koijen, Ralph S.J. & Hemert, Otto Van & Nieuwerburgh, Stijn Van, 2009. "Mortgage timing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 292-324, August.
    4. Halil D. Kaya, 2011. "Syndicated bank loans and capital structure," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(8), pages 697-714, July.
    5. Malcolm P. Baker & Ryan Taliaferro & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Pseudo Market Timing and Predictive Regressions," NBER Working Papers 10823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Erik Devos & Andrew Spieler & Desmond Tsang, 2014. "Elective Stock Dividends and REITs: Evidence from the Financial Crisis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 33-70, March.
    7. Robin Greenwood & Samuel G. Hanson, 2010. "Issuer Quality and Corporate Bond Returns," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-065, Harvard Business School.
    8. Butler, Alexander W. & Cornaggia, Jess & Grullon, Gustavo & Weston, James P., 2011. "Corporate financing decisions, managerial market timing, and real investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 666-683, September.
    9. Kelly Nianyun Cai & Xiaoquan Jiang & Hei Wai Lee, 2013. "Debt Ipo Waves, Investor Sentiment, Market Conditions, And Issue Quality," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 435-452, December.
    10. Barry, Christopher B. & Mann, Steven C. & Mihov, Vassil & Rodríguez, Mauricio, 2009. "Interest rate changes and the timing of debt issues," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 600-608, April.
    11. Andrea J. Heuson & Gary Painter, 2014. "The Impact of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 on Housing Turnover in the U.S. Single-Family Residential Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 869-899, December.
    12. António Afonso, & Manish K. Singh, 2016. "Is the supply of long-term debt independent of the term premia? Evidence from Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2016/11, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.

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