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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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  9. Ivo Welch, 2004. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 106-131, February.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
  13. 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.
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  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Korajczyk, Robert A & Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1991. "The Effect of Information Releases on the Pricing and Timing of Equity Issues," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(4), pages 685-708.
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  24. Jung, Kooyul & Yong-Cheol, Kim & Stulz, Rene M., 1996. "Timing, investment opportunities, managerial discretion, and the security issue decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 159-185, October.
  25. 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.
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