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Pecking order or trade-off hypothesis? Evidence on the capital structure of Chinese companies

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  • Guanqun Tong
  • Christopher Green

Abstract

This study tests the pecking order and trade-off hypotheses of corporate financing decisions using a cross-section of the largest Chinese listed companies. The study is built on Allen (1993), Baskin (1989) and Adedeji (1998) to set up three models in which trade-off and pecking order theories give distinctively different predictions: (1) the determinants of leverage; (2) the relationship between leverage and dividends; and (3) the determinants of corporate investment. In model 1, a significant negative correlation is found between leverage and profitability; in model 2 a significant positive correlation between current leverage and past dividends is found. These results broadly support the pecking order hypothesis over trade-off theory. However, model 3 is inconclusive. Overall, the results provide tentative support for the pecking order hypothesis and demonstrate that a conventional model of corporate capital structure can explain the financing behaviour of Chinese companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Guanqun Tong & Christopher Green, 2005. "Pecking order or trade-off hypothesis? Evidence on the capital structure of Chinese companies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2179-2189.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:19:p:2179-2189
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500319873
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
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