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The impact of corporate debt on long term investment and firm performance

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  • Manohar Singh
  • Sheri Faircloth

Abstract

Prior research indicates a linkage between debt, research and development (R&D) and physical investment, and that the relationship varies depending on the type of firm (science versus non-science). Leverage also plays a multidimensional role in corporate performance and growth. The relationship between financial leverage and R&D expenditure is analysed using a sample of large United States (US) manufacturing firms. Then, the impact of leverage on R&D expenditure is studied using corporate performance drivers as intermediate variables. The results indicate that there is a strong negative relationship between the degree of financial leverage and the level of R&D expenditure that firms undertake. The negative relationship is robust to changes in model specifications and sample periods. More importantly, the results show that it is higher leverage that leads to lower R&D expense rather than R&D causing variations in future leverage. In addition, the results indicate that higher leverage adversely influences future investment in R&D which may in turn lead to negative impact on long term operating performance and future growth opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Manohar Singh & Sheri Faircloth, 2005. "The impact of corporate debt on long term investment and firm performance," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 875-883.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:8:p:875-883
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500076762
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mueller, Elisabeth & Zimmermann, Volker, 2006. "The Importance of Equity Finance for R&D Activity: Are There Differences Between Young and OldCompanies?," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-014, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Félix J. López Iturriaga & Vicente Lima Crisóstomo, 2010. "Do Leverage, Dividend Payout, and Ownership Concentration Influence Firms' Value Creation? An Analysis of Brazilian Firms," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 80-94, May.
    3. Hsiang-Lan Chen & Wen-Tsung Hsu & Yen-Sheng Huang, 2010. "Top management team characteristics, R&D investment and capital structure in the IT industry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 319-333, October.
    4. Sasidharan, Subash & Jijo Lukose, P.J. & Komera, Surenderrao, 2015. "Financing constraints and investments in R&D: Evidence from Indian manufacturing firms," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 28-39.
    5. Félix J. López Iturriaga & Vicente Lima Crisóstomo, 2010. "Do Leverage, Dividend Payout, and Ownership Concentration Influence Firms' Value Creation? An Analysis of Brazilian Firms," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 80-94, May.
    6. Juan Manuel San Martín Reyna, 2012. "An Empirical Examination of Ownership Structure, Earnings Management and Growth Opportunities in Mexican Market," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 2(7), pages 103-123, December.
    7. Elisabeth Müller & Volker Zimmermann, 2009. "The importance of equity finance for R&D activity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 303-318, October.
    8. Hayam Wahba, 2014. "Capital structure, managerial ownership and firm performance: evidence from Egypt," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 18(4), pages 1041-1061, November.
    9. Zahoor Hussain Javed & Huma Huma Rao & Bader Akram & Muhammad Fayyaz Nazir, 2015. "Effect of Financial Leverage on Performance of the Firms: Empirical Evidence from Pakistan," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 65(1-2), pages 87-95, January-M.
    10. Darush Yazdanfar & Peter Öhman, 2015. "Debt financing and firm performance: an empirical study based on Swedish data," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 16(1), pages 102-118, January.
    11. Álvarez, Inmaculada C. & Kao, Chihwa & Romero-Jordán, Desiderio, 2016. "Long run effect of public grants on the R&D investment: A non-stationary panel data approach," Efficiency Series Papers 2016/04, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).
    12. Felix J. Lopez-Iturriaga & Emilio Lopez-Millan, 2015. "Institutional Framework, Corporate Ownership Structure, and R&D Investment: An International Analysis," HSE Working papers WP BRP 36/MAN/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    13. Majumdar, Sumit K., 2016. "Debt and communications technology diffusion: Retrospective evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 458-474.

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