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Financing the Small Firm Start-Up: Determinants of Debt Use

  • Frederick C. Scherr

    (West Virginia University)

  • Timothy F. Sugrue

    (George Mason University)

  • Janice B. Ward

    (West Virginia University)

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    While academic research concerning capital structure of large corporations has been abundant in the finance literature, studies of small firms have been somewhat less common, and investigation of capital structure at origin (start-up) has been virtually nil. In this paper we present empirical evidence concerning the start-up capital structures of small firms. We base this investigation upon characteristics of both owner and firm. We find the percent of the owner's income expected to be derived from the business to be positively associated with debt use and the owner's age to be negatively associated with debt use. We find that more debt is obtained if the business owner is married and less if he or she is black. Similarly, more debt is prevalent among start-up firms in transportation and utilities than those in other industries. When debt obtained from other than financial institutions is considered, factors such as gender, experience, education, and expected firm size also play a role in the structure of start-up capital.

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    Article provided by Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management in its journal Journal of Small Business Finance.

    Volume (Year): 3 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Fall)
    Pages: 17-36

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    Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:3:y:1993:i:1:p:17-36
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    1. Gavin Chen & John Cole, 1988. "The myths, facts, and theories of ethnic, small-scale enterprise financing," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 111-123, March.
    2. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    3. Timothy Bates, 1989. "The changing nature of minority business: A comparative analysis of asian, nonminority, and black-owned businesses," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 25-42, September.
    4. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
    5. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
    6. Jerry A. Hausman & Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1991. "An Ordered Probit Analysis of Transaction Stock Prices," NBER Working Papers 3888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Sugrue, Timothy F & Scherr, Fredrick C, 1989. "An Empirical Test of Ross's Cash Flow Beta Theory of Capital Structur e," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 24(3), pages 355-70, August.
    10. 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.
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