Global convergence of financing policies: Evidence for emerging-market firms
As globalization spreads, one of the key challenges that emerging-market firms face is how to finance their growth opportunities. Using data from close to 10,000 firms from more than 30 emerging markets, this paper investigates how, over time, leverage is determined by firms’ business models, and also by the overall country environment. I find significant changes over the last two decades. In the early 1990s, country characteristics dominated firm characteristics, and it was difficult for firms to overcome the limitations of their domestic environment. As emerging markets became better integrated with the world economy, the importance of firm characteristics has increased. At the end of the sample period, emerging-market capital structure determinants resemble those of developed markets, and country characteristics have become less important in explaining financing structures. I also show how, over the last two decades, the maturity structure of debt has changed, and that in recent years firms with more tangible assets are able to attract more debt financing. Overall, I conclude that financing choices in emerging markets are now being made in the same way as in developed markets. This means that emerging-market firms now rely much more on their own strengths when obtaining debt than on country characteristics.
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Volume (Year): 42 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (October)
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