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Dynamic capital structure and political patronage: The case of Malaysia

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  • Ebrahim, M. Shahid
  • Girma, Sourafel
  • Shah, M. Eskandar
  • Williams, Jonathan

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of political patronage on firms' capital structure. The evidence is from Malaysia, a country characterised by relationship-capitalism, and covers 1988 to 2009. Using a system GMM estimator we find firms set leverage targets and adjust towards them following deviations at the rate of 28% per annum. Next, we construct a natural experiment and use a difference-in-differences model to investigate if the strategic financing decisions of politically patronised firms differ from non-connected firms after an exogenous shock caused by the 1997 Asian crisis. Our results unambiguously demonstrate a significant difference in the capital structure of patronised firms relative to non-connected firms following the exogenous shock but only for the crisis period 1998–2001. After 2002 the capital structures of patronised and non-connected firms are statistically equivalent.

Suggested Citation

  • Ebrahim, M. Shahid & Girma, Sourafel & Shah, M. Eskandar & Williams, Jonathan, 2014. "Dynamic capital structure and political patronage: The case of Malaysia," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 117-128.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:31:y:2014:i:c:p:117-128
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2013.11.004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asian financial crisis; Capital structure; Political patronage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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