IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/reecon/v70y2016i1p170-185.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

To borrow or not to borrow? An analysis of university leverage decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Rosen, Harvey S.
  • Sappington, Alexander J.W.

Abstract

This paper investigates the decisions of universities to issue debt. We test whether the expected value and uncertainty of a university׳s nonfinancial income (the income generated by sources other than its endowment) affect its leverage (the ratio of the value of an institution׳s liabilities to the value of its assets). We find that leverage is negatively related to both the expected value and the uncertainty of nonfinancial income. On average, increasing the expected value of nonfinancial income by one standard deviation decreases a university׳s debt by about $5.1 million, while increasing the uncertainty of nonfinancial income by one standard deviation decreases debt by about $2.7 million. This behavior is consistent with the pecking order theory of capital structure, which posits that managers deplete available internal funds before issuing debt. We also show that the leverage decisions of universities have become less sensitive to expected nonfinancial income but more sensitive to its uncertainty since the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosen, Harvey S. & Sappington, Alexander J.W., 2016. "To borrow or not to borrow? An analysis of university leverage decisions," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 170-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:70:y:2016:i:1:p:170-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rie.2015.10.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090944315301010
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.rie.2015.10.005?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Jeffrey R. Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Jun-Koo Kang & Scott J. Weisbenner, 2014. "How University Endowments Respond to Financial Market Shocks: Evidence and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 931-962, March.
    2. Orazio Attanasio & Corina Mommaerts & Costas Meghir, 2015. "Insurance in Extended Family Networks," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1996, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2000. "Towards an Explanation of Household Portfolio Choice Heterogeneity: Nonfinancial Income and Participation Cost Structures," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1102, Econometric Society.
    6. 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.
    7. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    8. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    9. Hansmann, Henry, 1990. "Why Do Universities Have Endowments?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 3-42, January.
    10. Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. "On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-878, July.
    11. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. "The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    12. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 207-222, Summer.
    13. Kyle Jurado & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2015. "Measuring Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1177-1216, March.
    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. Harvey S. Rosen & Alexander J. W. Sappington, 2015. "What Do University Endowment Managers Worry About? An Analysis of Alternative Asset Investments and Background Income," NBER Working Papers 21271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Jeffrey R. Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Scott Weisbenner, 2012. "The Supply of and Demand for Charitable Donations to Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education, pages 151-174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-922, September.
    18. Alan S. Blinder & Angus Deaton, 1985. "The Time Series Consumption Function Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(2), pages 465-521.
    19. Gentry, William M., 2002. "Debt, investment and endowment accumulation: the case of not-for-profit hospitals," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 845-872, September.
    20. Stephen G. Dimmock, 2012. "Background Risk and University Endowment Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 789-799, August.
    21. Wenli Yan & Dwight V. Denison & J.S. Butler, 2009. "Revenue Structure and Nonprofit Borrowing," Public Finance Review, , vol. 37(1), pages 47-67, January.
    22. 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.
    23. Geoffrey Peter Smith, 2010. "What are the Capital Structure Determinants for Tax‐Exempt Organizations?," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 845-872, August.
    24. 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.
    25. 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.
    26. Robert Lowry, 2004. "Markets, governance, and university priorities: Evidence on undergraduate education and research," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 29-51, April.
    27. Kale, Jayant R & Noe, Thomas H & Ramirez, Gabriel G, 1991. "The Effect of Business Risk on Corporate Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1693-1715, December.
    28. repec:mpr:mprres:6108 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Wedig, Gerard J., 1994. "Risk, leverage, donations and dividends-in-kind: A theory of nonprofit financial behavior," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 257-278.
    30. Linda Schmid Klein & Thomas J. O’Brien & Stephen R. Peters, 2002. "Debt vs. Equity and Asymmetric Information: A Review," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 37(3), pages 317-349, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Harvey S. Rosen & Alexander J. W. Sappington, 2016. "To Borrow or Not to Borrow? An Analysis of University Leverage Decisions," NBER Working Papers 21951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Harvey S. Rosen & Alexander J.W. Sappington, 2016. "To Borrow or Not to Borrow? An Analysis of University Leverage Decisions," Working Papers 249, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    3. Temimi, Akram & Zeitun, Rami & Mimouni, Karim, 2016. "How does the tax status of a country impact capital structure? Evidence from the GCC region," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 37, pages 71-89.
    4. Viet Anh Dang, 2011. "Testing Capital Structure Theories Using Error Correction Models: Evidence From The Uk, France And Germany," Post-Print hal-00732527, HAL.
    5. Imran Yousaf & Arshad Hassan, 2016. "Effect of Family Control on Corporate Financing Decisions: A Case of Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2016:138, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Bayan M Arqawi & William J Bertin & Laurie Prather, 2014. "The impact of product warranties on the capital structure of Australian firms," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 39(2), pages 207-225, May.
    8. Mohamed Soufeljil & Asma Sghaier & Zouhayer Mighri & Hanène Kheireddine, 2017. "The financial structure of the Tunisian listed businesses: an application on panel data," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, December.
    9. Xu, Jin, 2012. "Profitability and capital structure: Evidence from import penetration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 427-446.
    10. Yousry Ahmed & Tamer Elshandidy, 2021. "Effect of leverage deviation on choices and outcomes of public versus non‐public acquisitions," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 3436-3459, July.
    11. Zhang, Dongyang & Liu, Deqiang, 2017. "Determinants of the capital structure of Chinese non-listed enterprises: Is TFP efficient?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 179-202.
    12. Anton Miglo, 2012. "Managers versus Students: New Approach in Improving Capital Structure Education," Journal of Education and Vocational Research, AMH International, vol. 3(11), pages 353-369.
    13. Meskat Ibne Sharif, 2019. "Fundamental Drivers of Capital Structure: Evidence from Publicly Traded Non-financial U.S. Firms," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 9(6), pages 113-122.
    14. Valeriya Valer’evna Metel’skaya, 2021. "Correlation-and-regression analysis of the influence of macroeconomic factors on capital structure of Russian corporations under crisis conditions," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-34, December.
    15. Viet Anh Dang, 2013. "Testing capital structure theories using error correction models: evidence from the UK, France and Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 171-190, January.
    16. Zeitun, Rami & Temimi, Akram & Mimouni, Karim, 2017. "Do financial crises alter the dynamics of corporate capital structure? Evidence from GCC countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 21-33.
    17. Munir, Qaiser & Kok, Sook Ching & Teplova, Tamara & Li, Tongxia, 2017. "Powerful CEOs, debt financing, and leasing in Chinese SMEs: Evidence from threshold model," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 487-503.
    18. Andres, Christian & Cumming, Douglas & Karabiber, Timur & Schweizer, Denis, 2014. "Do markets anticipate capital structure decisions? — Feedback effects in equity liquidity," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 133-156.
    19. 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.
    20. Rana El Bahsh & Ali Alattar & Aziz N. Yusuf, 2018. "Firm, Industry and Country Level Determinants of Capital Structure: Evidence from Jordan," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 8(2), pages 175-190.

    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:reecon:v:70:y:2016:i:1:p:170-185. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941 .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941 .

    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.