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A New Test of Capital Structure

  • Mayer, Colin
  • Sussman, Oren

This Paper reports a new test of capital structure theories. It uses a filtering technique to identify large investment spikes. We find that the spikes are predominantly financed with debt by large firms and by new equity by small loss-making firms. In the process, firms move significantly away from their previous capital structures but then revert back to them by making frequent issues of small amounts of equity. Neither the pecking order nor the trade-off theories on their own provide satisfactory descriptions of these dynamic features of corporate financing.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4239.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4239
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  1. Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. " On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-78, July.
  2. Mayer, Colin, 1988. "New issues in corporate finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1167-1183, June.
  3. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Chirinko, Robert S. & Singha, Anuja R., 2000. "Testing static tradeoff against pecking order models of capital structure: a critical comment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 417-425, December.
  5. Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Convertible Bonds as "Back Door" Equity Financing," NBER Working Papers 4028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jeffrey A. Wurgler & Malcolm P. Baker, 2001. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm181, Yale School of Management.
  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 1421-60, December.
  8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  9. Ivo Welch, 2002. "Columbus' Egg: The Real Determinant of Capital Structure," NBER Working Papers 8782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  12. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2003. "Testing the pecking order theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 217-248, February.
  13. Corbett, Jenny & Jenkinson, Tim, 1997. "How Is Investment Financed? A Study of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(0), pages 69-93, Supplemen.
  14. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  15. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
  16. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
  17. Shyam-Sunder, Lakshmi & C. Myers, Stewart, 1999. "Testing static tradeoff against pecking order models of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 219-244, February.
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