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An empirical investigation on the determinants of capital structure: the UK and Italian experience

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  • A. Panno

Abstract

This article investigates the empirical determinants of capital structure choice by analysing security issues made by companies in the UK and Italy between 1992 and 1996, and examines how companies actually select between financing instruments at a given point in time and in different financial contexts. A descriptive model of choice is developed and then estimated using Logit and Probit estimation procedures, and using data of two samples, which are assumed to be representative of a particular financial environment. The results provide evidence of interesting differences between the two financial markets, generally supporting the idea of the UK market being more testable and in principle more consistent with the main prescriptions of the more recent developments of capital structure theory; on the whole, the results provide support for positive effects of size and profitability, and negative impact of liquidity conditions and bankruptcy risk on the financial leverage of companies. This, together with the negative effect displayed by the available reserves which are taken as a proxy of internally generated funds, lends support to the pecking order theory of capital structure. It is also suggested that firms in well developed financial systems (UK) may have long-term target leverage ratios, while in less efficient markets (Italy) an optimal debt level does not seem to be a major concern. Finally, for both markets, the results are consistent with the notion that the tax advantage of debt financing plays a relevant role in capital structure decisions.

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  • A. Panno, 2003. "An empirical investigation on the determinants of capital structure: the UK and Italian experience," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 97-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:13:y:2003:i:2:p:97-112
    DOI: 10.1080/09603100210100882
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    Cited by:

    1. Wiklund, Johan & Baker, Ted & Shepherd, Dean, 2010. "The age-effect of financial indicators as buffers against the liability of newness," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 423-437, July.
    2. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:559-571 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cziráki, Péter, 2007. "A tőkestruktúra empirikus vizsgálata a magyar és az osztrák tőzsdén jegyzett vállalatok körében
      [An empirical investigation of the capital structure of Austrian and Hungarian listed companies]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 703-715.
    4. Manak C. Gupta, 2016. "An Integrated Model for the Cost-Minimizing Funding of Corporate Activities over Time," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 6, pages 1-18, November.
    5. Gregoire, Philippe & Huang, Hui, 2008. "Informed trading, noise trading and the cost of equity," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-32.
    6. K. Baeyens & S. Manigart, 2006. "Follow-on financing of venture capital backed companies: The choice between debt, equity, existing and new investors," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 06/362, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. Felix Babatunde Dada & Ben Ukaegbu, 2015. "The Pecking Order Theory: Evidence from Listed Firms in Nigeria," International Finance and Banking, Macrothink Institute, vol. 2(2), pages 72-84, December.
    8. Yung-Ming Shiu, 2006. "Corporate liquidity: evidence from the United Kingdom life insurance industry," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(15), pages 993-998.
    9. Wolfgang Drobetz & Gabrielle Wanzenried, 2006. "What determines the speed of adjustment to the target capital structure?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(13), pages 941-958.
    10. repec:gei:jnlfer:v:1:y:2016:i:2:p:87-100 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Drobetz, Wolfgang & Pensa, Pascal & Wanzenried, Gabrielle, 2007. "Firm Characteristics, Economic Conditions and Capital Structure Adjustment," Working papers 2007/16, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    12. Pascal Francois, 2006. "Tax loss carry-forwards and optimal leverage," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(14), pages 1075-1083.

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