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Does market timing drive capital structures? A panel data study for Dutch firms

  • Tijs de Bie
  • Leo de Haan

This empirical study revisits the determinants of firms' capital structures. The main focus thereby is onthe 'market timing theory', according to which the current level of the capital structure is the cumulative outcome of past attempts to `time the market', i.e. issuing shares when equity is overvalued and repurchasing shares in case of undervaluation. Since the positive evidence for this theory found by Baker and Wurgler (2002) for the US, this strand of empirical literature is growing. This paper presents evidence for a sample of 135 Dutch listed non-financial firms over the period 1983-1997 as well as for a sub-sample of 45 Dutch firms that did an initial public offering (IPO). The research methodology follows Kayhan and Titman (2004), who model capital structure as a mix of market timing, pecking order and capital structure targeting behaviour. The findings for the Dutch sample do not find strong and persistent effects of market timing on capital structures.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 016.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:016
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  1. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  2. Jeffrey A. Wurgler & Malcolm P. Baker, 2001. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm181, Yale School of Management.
  3. Eckbo, B. Espen & Masulis, Ronald W. & Norli, Oyvind, 2000. "Seasoned public offerings: resolution of the 'new issues puzzle'," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 251-291, May.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ikenberry, David & Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1995. "Market underreaction to open market share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 181-208.
  7. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
  8. R. Doeswijk & H. Hemmes & R. Venekamp, 2006. "25 Years of Dutch Ipos: An Examination of Frequently Cited Ipo Anomalies Within Main Sectors and During Hot- and Cold-Issue Periods," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 405-427, September.
  9. de Haan, Leo & Hinloopen, Jeroen, 2003. "Preference hierarchies for internal finance, bank loans, bond, and share issues: evidence for Dutch firms," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 661-681, December.
  10. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. 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.
  12. de Jong, A. & Veld, C.H., 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of Incremental Capital Structure Decisions Under Managerial Entrenchment," Discussion Paper 1998-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-44, March.
  14. Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1990. " Equity Issues and Stock Price Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1019-43, September.
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  17. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
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  24. Ivo Welch, 2002. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm263, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2003.
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  27. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1997. " The Operating Performance of Firms Conducting Seasoned Equity Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1823-50, December.
  28. Hovakimian, Armen & Hovakimian, Gayane & Tehranian, Hassan, 2004. "Determinants of target capital structure: The case of dual debt and equity issues," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 517-540, March.
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