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Is the Stability of Leverage Ratios Determined by the Stability of the Economy?

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  • Anastasiya Shamshur

Abstract

The choice of capital structure by firms is a fundamental issue in financial literature. According to a recent finding, the capital structure of firms remains almost unchanged during their lives meaning that leverage ratios are significantly stable over time. The stability of leverage ratios is mainly generated by an unobserved firm-specific effect that is liable for the majority of variation in capital structure (Lemmon, Roberts, and Zender 2008). However, the study focuses on the US economy, which is relatively stable. I study how substantial changes in the economy affect the stability of firms' capital structure in transition countries. Specifically, I concentrate on Central and Eastern European economies that passed through transition from central planning to a market economy and privatization, the Russian financial crisis, and EU membership. In addition, I investigate whether the ownership structure of firms is responsible for the part of the unexplained variation in leverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasiya Shamshur, 2009. "Is the Stability of Leverage Ratios Determined by the Stability of the Economy?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp393, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp393
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    2. Nivorozhkin, Eugene, 2005. "Financing choices of firms in EU accession countries," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 138-169, June.
    3. Jan Hanousek & Evžen Kočenda & Jan Svejnar, 2007. "Origin and concentration," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, March.
    4. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Jan Bena & Jan Hanousek, 2008. "Rent Extraction by Large Shareholders: Evidence Using Dividend Policy in the Czech Republic," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 58(03-04), pages 106-130, May.
    7. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
    8. Delcoure, Natalya, 2007. "The determinants of capital structure in transitional economies," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 400-415.
    9. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, August.
    10. Ralph Haas & Marga Peeters, 2006. "The dynamic adjustment towards target capital structures of firms in transition economies ," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(1), pages 133-169, March.
    11. Omer Brav, 2009. "Access to Capital, Capital Structure, and the Funding of the Firm," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 263-308, February.
    12. Dries Heyman & Marc Deloof & Hubert Ooghe, 2008. "The Financial Structure of Private Held Belgian Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 301-313, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paula Antão & Diana Bonfim, 2012. "The dynamics of capital structure decisions," Working Papers w201206, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. Mariya Hake, 2012. "Banking Sector Concentration and Firm Indebtedness: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 48-68.
    3. Hanousek, Jan & Shamshur, Anastasiya, 2011. "A stubborn persistence: Is the stability of leverage ratios determined by the stability of the economy?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1360-1376.
    4. Anastasiya Shamshur, 2010. "Access to Capital and Capital Structure of the Firm," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp429, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    5. Curtiss, Jarmila, 2012. "Determinants of Financial Capital Use: Review of theories and implications for rural businesses," Factor Markets Working Papers 123, Centre for European Policy Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital Structure; Financing Decisions; Eastern 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
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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