IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jbfina/v61y2015icp251-271.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does one size fit all? Determinants of insurer capital structure around the globe

Author

Listed:
  • Altuntas, Muhammed
  • Berry-Stölzle, Thomas R.
  • Wende, Sabine

Abstract

As financial markets become more global, the question arises whether any country specific considerations are still relevant for insurance companies’ capital structure. This research examines this question with firm-level data across a broad range of countries including those in developing markets. What we find is that the optimal capital structure of insurance companies is not homogeneous across countries. We find that country-level factors explain a substantial fraction of the cross-sectional variation in insurance companies’ capitalization levels. Our results add to the current policy discussion on global regulatory capital requirements. If insurer capital structure is not homogeneous across countries, a global capital standard – if desired – should take differences in the institutional environments across countries into account to avoid market distortions.

Suggested Citation

  • Altuntas, Muhammed & Berry-Stölzle, Thomas R. & Wende, Sabine, 2015. "Does one size fit all? Determinants of insurer capital structure around the globe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 251-271.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:251-271
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2015.09.012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378426615002708
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence S. Powell & David W. Sommer & David L. Eckles, 2008. "The Role of Internal Capital Markets in Financial Intermediaries: Evidence From Insurer Groups," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(2), pages 439-461.
    2. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Asymmetric Information and the New Theory of the Firm: Financial Constraints and Risk Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 160-165, May.
    3. James M. Carson & James S. Doran & Randy E. Dumm, 2011. "Market Discipline in the Individual Annuity Market," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 14(1), pages 27-47, March.
    4. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    5. Hilary, Gilles & Hui, Kai Wai, 2009. "Does religion matter in corporate decision making in America?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 455-473, September.
    6. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    8. Barth, James R.*Caprio,Gerard*Levine, Ross, 2001. "The regulation and supervision of banks around the world - a new database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2588, The World Bank.
    9. Franck Bancel & Usha R. Mittoo, 2004. "Cross-Country Determinants of Capital Structure Choice: A Survey of European Firms," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 33(4), Winter.
    10. Fier, Stephen G. & McCullough, Kathleen A. & Carson, James M., 2013. "Internal capital markets and the partial adjustment of leverage," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1029-1039.
    11. Patricia H. Born & Barbara Klimaszewski-Blettner, 2013. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Impact of Natural Disasters and Regulation on U.S. Property Insurers’ Supply Decisions," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(1), pages 1-36, March.
    12. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The law and economics of self-dealing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 430-465, June.
    13. Levine, Ross, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which Is Better?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 398-428, October.
    14. Rafael Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "What Works in Securities Laws?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-32, February.
    15. de Haan, Leo & Kakes, Jan, 2010. "Are non-risk based capital requirements for insurance companies binding?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1618-1627, July.
    16. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, March.
    17. 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.
    18. Lawrence Powell & David Sommer, 2007. "Internal Versus External Capital Markets in the Insurance Industry: The Role of Reinsurance," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 173-188, June.
    19. 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.
    20. Froot, Kenneth A. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1998. "Risk management, capital budgeting, and capital structure policy for financial institutions: an integrated approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 55-82, January.
    21. Jiang Cheng & Mary A. Weiss, 2012. "Capital Structure in the Property-Liability Insurance Industry: Tests of the Tradeoff and Pecking Order Theories," Journal of Insurance Issues, Western Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 35(1), pages 1-43.
    22. Laurence Booth, 2001. "Capital Structures in Developing Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 87-130, February.
    23. Patricia Born & W. Kip Viscusi & Tom Baker, 2009. "The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers' Ultimate Losses," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 76(1), pages 197-219.
    24. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1993. " Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1629-1658, December.
    25. Tao Shu & Johan Sulaeman & P. Eric Yeung, 2012. "Local Religious Beliefs and Mutual Fund Risk-Taking Behaviors," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(10), pages 1779-1796, October.
    26. 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, August.
    27. Harrington, Scott E & Danzon, Patricia M, 1994. "Price Cutting in Liability Insurance Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 511-538, October.
    28. 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, March.
    29. Thomas R. Berry-Stölzle & Robert E. Hoyt & Sabine Wende, 2013. "Capital Market Development, Competition, Property Rights, and the Value of Insurer Product-Line Diversification: A Cross-Country Analysis," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(2), pages 423-459, June.
    30. Korajczyk, Robert A. & Levy, Amnon, 2003. "Capital structure choice: macroeconomic conditions and financial constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 75-109, April.
    31. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1043-1075, October.
    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. Huang, Rongbing & Ritter, Jay R., 2009. "Testing Theories of Capital Structure and Estimating the Speed of Adjustment," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 237-271, April.
    34. 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.
    35. Cummins, J. David & Danzon, Patricia M., 1997. "Price, Financial Quality, and Capital Flows in Insurance Markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 3-38, January.
    36. Öztekin, Özde & Flannery, Mark J., 2012. "Institutional determinants of capital structure adjustment speeds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 88-112.
    37. 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.
    38. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    39. Robert Klein & Richard Phillips & Wenyan Shiu, 2002. "The Capital Structure of Firms Subject to Price Regulation: Evidence from the Insurance Industry," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 21(1), pages 79-100, February.
    40. Yung‐Ming Shiu, 2011. "Reinsurance and Capital Structure: Evidence From the United Kingdom Non‐Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 78(2), pages 475-494, June.
    41. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
    42. J. Cummins & Gregory Nini, 2002. "Optimal Capital Utilization by Financial Firms: Evidence from the Property-Liability Insurance Industry," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 21(1), pages 15-53, February.
    43. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    44. Cagle, Julie A B & Harrington, Scott E, 1995. "Insurance Supply with Capacity Constraints and Endogenous Insolvency Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 219-232, December.
    45. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. Epermanis, Karen & Harrington, Scott E., 2006. "Market Discipline in Property/Casualty Insurance: Evidence from Premium Growth Surrounding Changes in Financial Strength Ratings," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1515-1544, September.
    47. Lamm-Tennant, Joan & Starks, Laura T, 1993. "Stock versus Mutual Ownership Structures: The Risk Implications," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 29-46, January.
    48. Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 391-405, December.
    49. Scott Harrington & Greg Niehaus, 2002. "Capital Structure Decisions in the Insurance Industry: Stocks versus Mutuals," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 21(1), pages 145-163, February.
    50. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    51. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1982. "On the Corporate Demand for Insurance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 281-296, April.
    52. J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss & Hongmin Zi, 1999. "Organizational Form and Efficiency: The Coexistence of Stock and Mutual Property-Liability Insurers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(9), pages 1254-1269, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:gpprii:v:43:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1057_s41288-017-0063-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; International finance; Regulation; Financial institutions; Insurance markets;

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:251-271. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.