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Sources of Capital and Debt Structure in Small Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Chenchuramaiah T. Bathala

    (Cleveland State University)

  • Oswald D. Bowlin

    (Texas Tech University)

  • William P. Dukes

    (Texas Tech University)

Abstract

In this paper we examine the relationship between ownership differences and small firms’ financial policies using a survey of U.S. companies. The study finds that financial policies differ according to the type of ownership (private versus public) and by the ownership differences (family-owned, closely-held, or widely-held) within the private firms. The differences are in the ownership concentration, relative importance of various sources of capital, debt characteristics (sources of debt financing, debt maturity, and debt cost). A multiple regression equation estimated in the paper provides evidence relating to cross-sectional variations in debt ratios of small firms. The paper offers information asymmetry, illiquidity, and agency cost explanations for the observed differences in ownership and financial policies of small firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Chenchuramaiah T. Bathala & Oswald D. Bowlin & William P. Dukes, 2004. "Sources of Capital and Debt Structure in Small Firms," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 9(1), pages 29-50, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:9:y:2004:i:1:p:29-50
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. " Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
    3. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-659, September.
    4. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    5. Cook, Lisa D., 1999. "Trade credit and bank finance: Financing small firms in russia," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(5-6), pages 493-518.
    6. Johnson, Shane A., 1997. "An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Corporate Debt Ownership Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 47-69, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-381, July.
    9. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    10. 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.
    11. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
    12. Chenchuramaiah T. Bathala & Oswald D. Bowlin & William P. Dukes, 2003. "Corporate Governance, Illiquidity, and Valuation Issues in Privately-Owned Corporations," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 8(1), pages 1-30, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joel M. Vanden, 2016. "Optimal capital structures for private firms," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 245-273, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital Sources; Access to Capital; Small Business; Small Firm;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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