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The Agency Advantage of Debt over the Lifecycle of the Firm

  • Ed Vos

    (University of Waikato)

  • Carolyn Forlong

    (University of Waikato)

Registered author(s):

    The question of an `optimal' capital structure of a firm has been studied for publicly listed businesses for years. From these studies, agency theory has emerged as a good way to understand a firm's capital structure. This paper empirically examines the role that agency theory plays in determining the capital structure of businesses as they move from being small unlisted businesses to newly listed on the stock exchange, to being mature listed businesses. The paper finds that debt has a negative agency advantage (defined as reducing agency costs of equity) for small businesses, a significant but minor advantage at the IPO stage, and a significant advantage at the mature listed stage.

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    File URL: http://jefsite.org/RePEc/pep/journl/jef-1996-05-3-b-vos.pdf
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    Article provided by Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management in its journal Journal of Entrepreneurial and Small Business Finance.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 3 (Fall)
    Pages: 193-211

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    Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:5:y:1996:i:3:p:193-211
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    Web page: http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/jef

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    1. 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.
    2. Maloney, Michael T & McCormick, Robert E & Mitchell, Mark L, 1993. "Managerial Decision Making and Capital Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(2), pages 189-217, April.
    3. Gupta, Manak C, 1969. "The Effect of Size, Growth, and Industry on the Financial Structure of Manufacturing Companies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 24(3), pages 517-29, June.
    4. Ofek, Eli, 1993. "Capital structure and firm response to poor performance: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 3-30, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Masulis, Ronald W, 1983. " The Impact of Capital Structure Change on Firm Value: Some Estimates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 107-26, March.
    7. 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.
    8. James S. Ang, 1992. "On the Theory of Finance for Privately Held Firms," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 1(3), pages 185-203 , Spring.
    9. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
    10. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "Corporate Financial Structure and Managerial Incentives," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-79, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    11. Davidsson, Per, 1989. "Entrepreneurship -- And after? A study of growth willingness in small firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 211-226, May.
    12. 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.
    13. Givoly, Dan, et al, 1992. "Taxes and Capital Structure: Evidence from Firms' Response to the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 331-55.
    14. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    15. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Shah, Kshitij, 1994. "The nature of information conveyed by pure capital structure changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 89-126, August.
    17. James S. Ang & James Wuh Lin & Floyd Tyler, 1995. "Evidence on the Lack of Separation between Business and Personal Risks among Small Businesses," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 4(2), pages 197-210 , Fall.
    18. Stephen A. Ross, 1977. "The Determination of Financial Structure: The Incentive-Signalling Approach," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 23-40, Spring.
    19. Ibbotson, Roger G., 1975. "Price performance of common stock new issues," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 235-272, September.
    20. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
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