HOw Do Firms Choose Their Leaders? An Empirical Investigation
This article investigates which companies finance themselves through intermediaries and which borrow directly from arm's length investors. Our empirical results show that large companies with abundant cash and collateral tap credit markets directly; these markets cater to safe and profitable industries, and are most active when riskless rates or intermediary earnings are low. We show that determinants of lender selection sharpen during investment downturns and that there are substantial asymmetries in the way firms enter and exit capital markets. These results support a theoretical framework where intermediaries have better reorganizational skills but a higher opportunity cost of capital than bondholders.
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