IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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

  • Hanousek, Jan
  • Shamshur, Anastasiya

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929119911000915
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1360-1376

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1360-1376
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.07.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hobdari, Bersant & Jones, Derek C. & Mygind, Niels, 2009. "Capital investment and determinants of financial constraints in Estonia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 344-359, December.
  2. Jan Bena & Jan Hanousek, 2008. "Rent Extraction by Large Shareholders: Evidence Using Dividend Policy in the Czech Republic," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 58(03-04), pages 106-130, May.
  3. Estrin, Saul & Hanousek, Jan & Kocenda, Evzen & Svejnar, Jan, 2009. "Effects of privatization and ownership in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4811, The World Bank.
  4. Jan Hanousek & Evžen Kočenda, 2008. "Potential of the state to control privatized firms," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 167-186, June.
  5. Karin Joeveer, 2006. "Sources of Capital Structure: Evidence from Transition Countries," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp306, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  6. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  7. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2005. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2575-2619, December.
  8. Abe De Jong & Ronald Van Dijk, 2007. "Determinants of Leverage and Agency Problems: A Regression Approach with Survey Data," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 565-593.
  9. Fabio Schiantarelli, 1995. "Financial constraints and investment: a critical review of methodological issues and international evidence," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 39, pages 177-226.
  10. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
  11. Murray Z. Frank & Vidhan K. Goyal, 2009. "Capital Structure Decisions: Which Factors Are Reliably Important?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 1-37, 03.
  12. Nathalie Moyen, 2004. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities: Constrained versus Unconstrained Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2061-2092, October.
  13. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  14. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
  15. Gugler, Klaus & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2003. "Corporate governance and dividend pay-out policy in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 731-758, August.
  16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
  17. Ralph Haas & Marga Peeters, 2006. "The dynamic adjustment towards target capital structures of firms in transition economies ," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(1), pages 133-169, 03.
  18. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  19. Dries Heyman & Marc Deloof & Hubert Ooghe, 2008. "The Financial Structure of Private Held Belgian Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 301-313, March.
  20. Omer Brav, 2009. "Access to Capital, Capital Structure, and the Funding of the Firm," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 263-308, 02.
  21. Timothy J. Brailsford & Barry R. Oliver & Sandra L. H. Pua, 2002. "On the relation between ownership structure and capital structure," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 42(1), pages 1-26.
  22. Cornelli, Francesca & Portes, Richard & Schaffer, Mark E, 1996. "The Capital Structure of Firms in Central and Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Larry H. P. Lang & Mara Faccio & Leslie Young, 2001. "Dividends and Expropriation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 54-78, March.
  24. Hovakimian, Gayane & Titman, Sheridan, 2006. "Corporate Investment with Financial Constraints: Sensitivity of Investment to Funds from Voluntary Asset Sales," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 357-374, March.
  25. Oliner, Stephen D & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Sources of the Financing Hierarchy for Business Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 643-54, November.
  26. Konings, Jozef & Rizov, Marian & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2003. "Investment and financial constraints in transition economies: micro evidence from Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 253-258, February.
  27. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  28. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Scholarly Articles 3606237, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  29. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities are Useful: A Comment on Kaplan and Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705.
  30. Delcoure, Natalya, 2007. "The determinants of capital structure in transitional economies," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 400-415.
  31. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
  32. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  34. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215.
  35. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989. "Management entrenchment : The case of manager-specific investments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 123-139, November.
  36. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2005. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," NBER Working Papers 11280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
  38. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2007. "Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1429-1460, 2007 12.
  40. Anastasiya Shamshur, 2009. "Is the Stability of Leverage Ratios Determined by the Stability of the Economy?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp393, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  41. Suzan Hol & Nico Van der Wijst, 2008. "The financial structure of nonlisted firms," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(7), pages 559-568.
  42. Gugler, Klaus, 2003. "Corporate governance, dividend payout policy, and the interrelation between dividends, R&D, and capital investment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1297-1321, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1360-1376. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.