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The Debt Maturity Choice: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Mitchell, Karlyn

Abstract

In this paper I develop and test three nonmutually exclusive hypotheses about the determinants of corporations' debt maturity choices using a sample of corporate bonds issued between 1982 and 1986. The empirical evidence strongly supports the hypothesis that firms use bond maturity to facilitate monitoring by outsiders (the monitoring hypothesis) and weakly supports the hypothesis that firms with high-quality projects use bond maturity to signal project quality (the signaling hypothesis). The evidence does not support the hypothesis that firms use bond maturity to achieve an optimal trade-off between interest tax shields and bankruptcy costs (the tax/bankruptcy cost hypothesis).

Suggested Citation

  • Mitchell, Karlyn, 1993. "The Debt Maturity Choice: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 16(4), pages 309-320, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfnres:v:16:y:1993:i:4:p:309-20
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    Cited by:

    1. Emanuele Brancati & Marco Macchiavelli, 2016. "Endogenous Debt Maturity and Rollover Risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-074, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Cai, Kailan & Fairchild, Richard & Guney, Yilmaz, 2008. "Debt maturity structure of Chinese companies," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 268-297, June.
    3. repec:dgr:rugsom:06e03 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Robert Lensink & Pham Thi Thu Tra, 2006. "On signalling and debt maturity choice," Applied Financial Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 2(4), pages 239-241, July.
    5. Juan Carlos Gozzi & Ross Levine & Maria Soledad Martinez Peria & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2012. "How Firms Use Domestic and International Corporate Bond Markets," NBER Working Papers 17763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ovtchinnikov, Alexei V., 2016. "Debt decisions in deregulated industries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 230-254.
    7. Allen N. Berger & Marco A. Espinosa-Vega & W. Scott Frame & Nathan H. Miller, 2005. "Debt Maturity, Risk, and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2895-2923, December.
    8. Fu, Richard & Subramanian, Ajay, 2011. "Leverage and debt maturity choices by undiversified owner-managers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 888-913, September.
    9. Memmel, Christoph & Gündüz, Yalin & Raupach, Peter, 2015. "The common drivers of default risk," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 232-247.
    10. Pavel Körner, 2007. "The Determinants of Corporate Debt Maturity Structure: Evidence from Czech Firms (in English)," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 57(3-4), pages 142-158, June.
    11. Suzan Hol & Nico van der Wijst, 2006. "The financing structure of non-listed firms," Discussion Papers 468, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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