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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. Leo de Haan & Jeroen Hinloopen, 2002. "Ordering the Preference Hierarchies for Internal Finance, Bank Loans, Bond and Share Issues," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-072/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Korajczyk, Robert A. & Lucas, Deborah J. & McDonald, Robert L., 1992. "Equity Issues with Time-Varying Asymmetric Information," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 397-417, September.
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  6. de Jong, Abe & Veld, Chris, 2001. "An empirical analysis of incremental capital structure decisions under managerial entrenchment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1857-1895, October.
  7. Ayla Kayhan & Sheridan Titman, 2004. "Firms' Histories and Their Capital Structures," NBER Working Papers 10526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
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  12. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2005. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2575-2619, December.
  13. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  14. 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.
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  17. Jeffrey A. Wurgler & Malcolm P. Baker, 2001. "Market Timing and Capital Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm181, Yale School of Management.
  18. Chen, Linda H. & Lensink, Robert & Sterken, Elmer, 1999. "The determinants of capital structure: evidence from Dutch panel data," Research Report 99E14, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  19. 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.
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  22. 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.
  23. repec:dgr:rugsom:99e14 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2004. "The effect of market conditions on capital structure adjustment," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 47-55, March.
  25. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
  26. Deborah J. Lucas & Robert L. McDonald, 1989. "Equity Issues and Stock Price Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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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  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
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