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Asymmetries in the Firm's Use of Debt to Changing Market Values

Listed author(s):
  • Ferris, Stephen
  • Hanousek, Jan
  • Shamshur, Anastasiya
  • Tresl, Jiri

Using a large sample of U.S. firms over the period, 1984 to 2013, this study examines the relation between market and book leverage ratios. Unlike Welch (2004) who contends that changes in market leverage do not induce adjustments in book leverage, we find an asymmetric effect. That is, firms adjust their book leverage relative to market leverage only when the changes in market leverage are due to increases in the value of the firm's equity. No adjustment is observed when firm equity values decrease. We observe a number of interesting differences between those firms that make large and small capital structure adjustments in response to changing equity prices. Our results are consistent with Barclay, Morellec and Smith (2006) who argue that the optimal level of debt decreases in the presence of corporate growth options.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 12099.

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Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12099
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  1. Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 1-24, March.
  2. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2014. "Do Peer Firms Affect Corporate Financial Policy?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(1), pages 139-178, 02.
  3. Flannery, Mark J. & Hankins, Kristine Watson, 2013. "Estimating dynamic panel models in corporate finance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 1-19.
  4. Eugene F. Fama, 2002. "Testing Trade-Off and Pecking Order Predictions About Dividends and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
  5. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta, 2009. "Target Behavior and Financing: How Conclusive Is the Evidence?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1767-1796, 08.
  8. Michael J. Barclay & Erwan Morellec, 2006. "On the Debt Capacity of Growth Options," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(1), pages 37-60, January.
  9. HARRY DeANGELO & RICHARD ROLL, 2015. "How Stable Are Corporate Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 373-418, 02.
  10. Ivo Welch, 2004. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 106-131, February.
  11. Cai, Jie & Zhang, Zhe, 2011. "Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 391-402, June.
  12. Michael R. Roberts & Amir Sufi, 2009. "Control Rights and Capital Structure: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1657-1695, 08.
  13. repec:bla:joares:v:18:y:1980:i:1:p:242-254 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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, 08.
  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.
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