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How Firm Characteristics Affect Capital Structure: An International Comparison

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  • Wald, John K

Abstract

In this empirical study I examine the factors correlated with capital structure in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Although both mean leverage and many firm factors appear to be similar across countries, some significant differences remain. Specifically, differences appear in the correlation between long-term debt/asset ratios and the firms' riskiness, profitability, size, and growth. These correlations may be explained by differences in tax policies and agency problems, including differences in bankruptcy costs, information asymmetries, and shareholder/creditor conflicts. The findings of this study suggest links between varying choices in capital structure across countries and legal and institutional differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Wald, John K, 1999. "How Firm Characteristics Affect Capital Structure: An International Comparison," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 22(2), pages 161-187, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfnres:v:22:y:1999:i:2:p:161-87
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    7. Akgiray, Vedat, 1989. "Conditional Heteroscedasticity in Time Series of Stock Returns: Evidence and Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(1), pages 55-80, January.
    8. Jaime de Melo & David Tarr, 2015. "Welfare Costs Of U.S. Quotas In Textiles, Steel And Autos," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Modeling Developing Countries' Policies in General Equilibrium, chapter 21, pages 451-459 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Black, Fischer, 1976. "The pricing of commodity contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, pages 167-179.
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