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What Do We Know about the Capital Structure of Small Firms?

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  • Karin Joeveer

Abstract

There are no stylized facts about the capital structure of small firms. Therefore, in this paper I use firm data from 10 Western European countries to contrast the sources of leverage across small and large firms. Specifically, I jointly evaluate the explanatory power of firm-specific, country of incorporation institutional, and macroeconomic factors. Using data that is more comprehensive in coverage than that used in the existing research, I confirm the stylized facts of the capital structure literature for large and listed firms, but I obtain contrasting evidence for smaller companies: First, the country of incorporation carries much more information for small firms supporting the idea that small firms are more financially constrained and face non-firm-specific hurdles in their capital structure choice. Second, using two different leverage measures I show that the relationship of firm size and tangibility to leverage is robust to the measure used for listed, but not for unlisted, firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Joeveer, 2005. "What Do We Know about the Capital Structure of Small Firms?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp283, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp283
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    Cited by:

    1. Karin Joeveer, 2006. "Sources of Capital Structure: Evidence from Transition Countries," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp306, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Jõeveer, Karin, 2013. "Firm, country and macroeconomic determinants of capital structure: Evidence from transition economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 294-308.
    3. Julia Koralun-Bereźnicka, 2014. "On the Relative Importance of Corporate Working Capital Determinants: Findings from the EU Countries," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 8(4), December.
    4. Siti Nur Aqilah Ab Wahab & Nur Ainna Ramli, 2014. "The Determinants of Capital Structure: An Empirical Investigation of Malaysian Listed Government Linked Companies," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(4), pages 930-945.
    5. Hernandez-Canovas, Gines & Koeter-Kant, Johanna, 2006. "SME Financing in Europe: Cross-Country Determinants of Debt Maturity," Serie Research Memoranda 0009, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    6. Ginés Hernández-Cánovas & Ana Mol-Gómez-Váquez & Johanna Koëter-Kant, 2014. "Legal and institutional determinants of factoring in SMEs: Empirical analysis across 25 European countries," Proceedings of Economics and Finance Conferences 0401481, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    7. Daisuke Tsuruta, 2015. "Leverage and firm performance of small businesses: evidence from Japan," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 385-410, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; Publicly traded and privately hold companies; Europe.;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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