IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/boc/bocoec/602.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effects of Uncertainty on the Leverage of Non-Financial Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher F. Baum

    () (Boston College
    DIW Berlin)

  • Andreas Stephan

    (Europa-Universitat Viadrina
    DIW Berlin)

  • Oleksandr Talavera

    () (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

This paper investigates the link between the optimal level of nonfinancial firms' leverage and macroeconomic uncertainty. We develop a structural model of a firm's value maximization problem that predicts that as macroeconomic uncertainty increases the firm will decrease its optimal level of borrowing. We test this proposition using a panel of non-financial US firms drawn from the COMPUSTAT quarterly database covering the period 1991-2001. The estimates confirm that as macroeconomic uncertainty increases, firms decrease their levels of leverage. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our results are robust with respect to the inclusion of the index of leading indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher F. Baum & Andreas Stephan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2004. "The Effects of Uncertainty on the Leverage of Non-Financial Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 602, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 27 Jul 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:602 Note: formerly circulated as "Macroeconomic Uncertainty and Firm Leverage"
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp602.pdf
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hubbard, R Glenn & Kashyap, Anil K, 1992. "Internal Net Worth and the Investment Process: An Application to U.S. Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 506-534, June.
    2. Nicolas Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2001. "The dynamics of investment under uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W01/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Hong Bo & Robert Lensin, 2005. "Is the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship Nonlinear? An Empirical Analysis for the Netherlands," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(286), pages 307-331, May.
    4. Inessa Love, 2003. "Financial Development and Financing Constraints: International Evidence from the Structural Investment Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 765-791, July.
    5. Whited, Toni M, 1992. " Debt, Liquidity Constraints, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1425-1460, September.
    6. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    7. Alan J. Auerbach, 1985. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Capital Structures in the United States, pages 301-324 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1999. "Investment: Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 223-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Andrew Blake, 1999. "An Artificial Neural Network System of Leading Indicators," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 144, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    10. Ciaran Driver & Paul Temple & Giovanni Urga, 2005. "Profitability, capacity, and uncertainty: a model of UK manufacturing investment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 120-141, January.
    11. Christopher F Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Neslihan Ozkan, 2003. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Uncertainty on Cash Holdings for Non-Financial Firms," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 69, Society for Computational Economics.
    12. Hubbard, R Glenn & Kashyap, Anil K & Whited, Toni M, 1995. "International Finance and Firm Investment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 683-701, August.
    13. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 14-31.
    14. Joseph P. Byrne & E. Philip Davis, 2005. "Investment and Uncertainty in the G7," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), pages 1-32.
    15. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    16. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    17. Bo, Hong, 2002. "Idiosyncratic Uncertainty and Firm Investment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 1-14, March.
    18. R. Glenn Hubbard & Anil K. Kashyap & Toni M. Whited, 1993. "Internal Finance and Firm Investment," NBER Working Papers 4392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 2000. "The Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Investment in Small and Large Businesses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 338-343, May.
    20. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1777-1804, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2013. "The Effects of Future Capital Investment and R&D Expenditures on Firms' Liquidity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 459-474, August.
    2. Christopher F Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2010. "Corporate Liquidity Management and Future Investment Expenditures," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 001, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2014. "The Response Of Firms' Leverage To Risk: Evidence From Uk Public Versus Nonpublic Manufacturing Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 341-363, January.
    4. repec:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12197-016-9370-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Joseph P. Byrne & Marina-Eliza Spaliara & Serafeim Tsoukas, 2016. "Firm Survival, Uncertainty, And Financial Frictions: Is There A Financial Uncertainty Accelerator?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 375-390, January.
    6. Roberto Álvarez & Andrés Sagner & Carla Valdivia, 2012. "Liquidity Crises and Corporate Cash Holdings in Chile," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 50(4), pages 378-392, December.
    7. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Boyan Liu, 2010. "The impact of macroeconomic uncertainty on firms' changes in financial leverage," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 22-30.
    8. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2010. "The response of firms' leverage to uncertainty: Evidence from UK public versus non-public firms," Working Papers 2010019, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.
    9. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2017. "Capital structure adjustments: Do macroeconomic and business risks matter?," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 1463-1502.
    10. Natalia Nehrebecka & Michał Brzozowski, 2016. "Wpływ niepewności makroekonomicznej na oszczędności przedsiębiorstw," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 5, pages 51-69.
    11. McKee, Gregory & Larsen, Ryan, 2012. "The Effects of Uncertainty and Capital Source on Cooperative Firm Leverage," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 40(2).
    12. Yassine Bakkar & Olivier De Jonghe & Amine Tarazi, 2017. "Does banks' systemic importance affect their capital structure adjustment process?," Working Papers hal-01546995, HAL.
    13. repec:eee:corfin:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:248-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Rashid, Abdul, 2013. "Risks and financing decisions in the energy sector: An empirical investigation using firm-level data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 792-799.
    15. Sinha, Pankaj & Agnihotri, Shalini, 2015. "Macroeconomic risk and firms financing decision: An empirical panel data investigation using system GMM," MPRA Paper 67088, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Sep 2015.
    16. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:262-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Yassine Bakkar & Olivier De Jonghe & Amine Tarazi, 2017. "Does banks' systemic importance affect their capital structure and balance sheet adjustment processes?," Working Papers hal-01636253, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    leverage; uncertainty; non-financial firms; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:602. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/debocus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.