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Ownership, capital structure and financing decision: Evidence from the UK

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  • Sun, Ji
  • Ding, Li
  • Guo, Jie Michael
  • Li, Yichen

Abstract

This paper examines whether and to what degree agency conflicts in ownership structure affect firm leverage ratios and external financing decisions, using a universal sample of UK firms from 1998 to 2012. We use two distinctive measures to capture ownership structure, namely, managerial share ownership (MSO) and institutional ownership. Our empirical results show a non-monotonic relation between MSO and the debt ratio, supporting two competing theories: interest alignment theory and the management entrenchment hypothesis. Nevertheless, institutional ownership is found to be positively related to firm leverage levels. Our results further suggest that firms with concentrated MSO decrease their leverage by increasing the probability of issuing equity over bonds, an effect strengthened during hot market periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Sun, Ji & Ding, Li & Guo, Jie Michael & Li, Yichen, 2016. "Ownership, capital structure and financing decision: Evidence from the UK," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 448-463.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bracre:v:48:y:2016:i:4:p:448-463
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bar.2015.04.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ownership; Capital structure; Market valuation; Security issuance; Agency theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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