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A stubborn persistence: Is the stability of leverage ratios determined by the stability of the economy?

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  • Hanousek, Jan
  • Shamshur, Anastasiya

Abstract

The choice of capital structure firms make is a fundamental issue in the financial literature. According to a recent finding, the capital structure of firms remains almost unchanged during their lives. This stability of leverage ratios is mainly generated by an unobserved firm-specific effect that is liable for the majority of the variation in capital structure. We demonstrate that even substantial changes in the economic environment do not affect the stability of firms' leverage due to the presence of credit constraints. Financially unconstrained firms are more responsive to economic changes and adjust to the target substantially faster than constrained firms. Moreover, accounting for the ownership structure of firms boosts the explanatory power of the model in the subsample of unconstrained firms, suggesting that annual information on ownership and ownership changes together with financial constraints have the potential to be an answer to the puzzle of stability in capital structure.

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  • Hanousek, Jan & Shamshur, Anastasiya, 2011. "A stubborn persistence: Is the stability of leverage ratios determined by the stability of the economy?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1360-1376.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1360-1376
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.07.004
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    3. Mariya Hake, 2012. "Banking Sector Concentration and Firm Indebtedness: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 48-68.
    4. Masiak, Christian & Moritz, Alexandra & Lang, Frank, 2017. "Financing Patterns of European SMEs Revisited: An Updated Empirical Taxonomy and Determinants of SME Financing Clusters," EIF Working Paper Series 2017/40, European Investment Fund (EIF).
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    6. Mohammad Bitar & M. Kabir Hassan & William J. Hippler, 2017. "Determinants of Bank Capital in Dual Banking Systems," NFI Working Papers 2017-WP-04, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    7. Dang, Viet Anh & Kim, Minjoo & Shin, Yongcheol, 2014. "Asymmetric adjustment toward optimal capital structure: Evidence from a crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 226-242.
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    14. Giorgio Canarella & Mahmoud Nourayi & Michael J. Sullivan, 2014. "An alternative test of the trade-off theory of capital structure," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 8(4), December.
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    16. Mário Santos & António Moreira & Elisabete Vieira, 2014. "Ownership concentration, contestability, family firms, and capital structure," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 18(4), pages 1063-1107, November.
    17. Gungoraydinoglu, Ali & Öztekin, Özde, 2011. "Firm- and country-level determinants of corporate leverage: Some new international evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1457-1474.
    18. Siti Nur Aqilah Ab Wahab & Nur Ainna Ramli, 2014. "The Determinants of Capital Structure: An Empirical Investigation of Malaysian Listed Government Linked Companies," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(4), pages 930-945.
    19. Curtiss, Jarmila, 2012. "Determinants of Financial Capital Use: Review of theories and implications for rural businesses," Working Papers 122846, Factor Markets, Centre for European Policy Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; Financing decisions; Eastern Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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