IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinec/v95y2010i3p332-355.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The pecking order, debt capacity, and information asymmetry

Author

Listed:
  • Leary, Mark T.
  • Roberts, Michael R.

Abstract

We quantify the empirical relevance of the pecking order hypothesis using a novel empirical model and testing strategy that addresses statistical power concerns with previous tests. While the classificatory ability of the pecking order varies significantly depending on whether one interprets the hypothesis in a strict or liberal (e.g., "modified" pecking order) manner, the pecking order is never able to accurately classify more than half of the observed financing decisions. However, when we expand the model to incorporate factors typically attributed to alternative theories, the predictive accuracy of the model increases dramatically--accurately classifying over 80% of the observed debt and equity issuances. Finally, we show that what little pecking order behavior can be found in the data is driven more by incentive conflicts, as opposed to information asymmetry.

Suggested Citation

  • Leary, Mark T. & Roberts, Michael R., 2010. "The pecking order, debt capacity, and information asymmetry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 332-355, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:95:y:2010:i:3:p:332-355
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-405X(09)00230-X
    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. Chirinko, Robert S. & Singha, Anuja R., 2000. "Testing static tradeoff against pecking order models of capital structure: a critical comment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 417-425, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Malcolm Baker & Jeremy C. Stein & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2003. "When Does the Market Matter? Stock Prices and the Investment of Equity-Dependent Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 969-1005.
    4. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, January.
    5. Robert A. Korajczyk & Deborah Lucas & Robert L. McDonald, 1990. "Understanding Stock Price Behavior around the Time of Equity Issues," NBER Chapters,in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 257-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Denis, David J. & Mihov, Vassil T., 2003. "The choice among bank debt, non-bank private debt, and public debt: evidence from new corporate borrowings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 3-28, October.
    7. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. " Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-1493, December.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    11. Hovakimian, Armen, 2006. "Are Observed Capital Structures Determined by Equity Market Timing?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 221-243, March.
    12. 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.
    13. Choe, Hyuk & Masulis, Ronald W. & Nanda, Vikram, 1993. "Common stock offerings across the business cycle : Theory and evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-31, June.
    14. Eugene F. Fama, 2002. "Testing Trade-Off and Pecking Order Predictions About Dividends and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
    15. Jung, Kooyul & Yong-Cheol, Kim & Stulz, Rene M., 1996. "Timing, investment opportunities, managerial discretion, and the security issue decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 159-185, October.
    16. Myers, Stewart C., 2003. "Financing of corporations," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 215-253 Elsevier.
    17. 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.
    18. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2002. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 1-32, February.
    19. Opler, Tim & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, Rene & Williamson, Rohan, 1999. "The determinants and implications of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-46, April.
    20. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    21. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    22. Stewart C. Myers, 2001. "Capital Structure," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 81-102, Spring.
    23. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    24. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-144, March.
    25. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2005. "Financing decisions: who issues stock?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 549-582, June.
    26. 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.
    27. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
    28. Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2007. "Do Tests of Capital Structure Theory Mean What They Say?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1747-1787, August.
    29. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2003. "Testing the pecking order theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 217-248, February.
    30. Sreedhar T. Bharath & Paolo Pasquariello & Guojun Wu, 2009. "Does Asymmetric Information Drive Capital Structure Decisions?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(8), pages 3211-3243, August.
    31. 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.
    32. 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.
    33. 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, February.
    34. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Graham, John R., 1996. "Debt and the marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-73, May.
    36. Fulghieri, Paolo & Lukin, Dmitry, 2001. "Information production, dilution costs, and optimal security design," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 3-42, July.
    37. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Taxation, corporate financial policy, and the cost of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, February.
    38. Shyam-Sunder, Lakshmi & C. Myers, Stewart, 1999. "Testing static tradeoff against pecking order models of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 219-244, February.
    39. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:jfinec:v:95:y:2010:i:3:p:332-355. 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/inca/505576 .

    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.