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Determinants of Leverage and Agency Problems: A Regression Approach with Survey Data

  • Abe De Jong
  • Ronald Van Dijk
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    This paper reports on empirical investigations of the determinants of leverage and agency problems. Use is made of private data obtained through questionnaires, and a regression model is estimated in which leverage and four agency problems are explained, i.e. direct wealth transfer, asset substitution, underinvestment and overinvestment. The application of regression analysis on survey data is novel in finance. Therefore, this paper contains an in-depth description of the research methods. Results for a sample of Dutch firms confirm that the trade-off between tax advantages and bankruptcy costs determines leverage. Free cash flow and corporate governance characteristics appear to be determinants of overinvestment. Despite finding that agency problems are present, no evidence is found for direct relations between leverage and the agency problems.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of Finance.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 565-593

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:13:y:2007:i:6:p:565-593
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