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Firms' dynamic adjustment to target capital structures in transition economies

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  • R.T.A. de Haas
  • H.M.M. Peeters

Abstract

We study the capital structure dynamics of Central and Eastern European firms in order to get a better understanding of the quantitative and qualitative development of the financial systems in this region. The dynamic model we use endogenizes the target leverage as well as the adjustment speed and is applied to microeconomic data for ten countries. We find that during the transition process firms generally increased their leverage, lowering the gap between actual and target leverage. Profitability and age are the most robust determinants of capital structure targets. Older firms attract more bank debt, whereas profitability decreases firms' leverage targets. While banking system development has in general enabled firms to get closer to their leverage targets, information asymmetries between firms and banks are still important. As a result, firms prefer internal finance to bank debt (pecking order behaviour) and adjust leverage only slowly.

Suggested Citation

  • R.T.A. de Haas & H.M.M. Peeters, 2004. "Firms' dynamic adjustment to target capital structures in transition economies," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 761, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:wormem:761
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    Cited by:

    1. Mihails Kuznecovs & Sarmistha Pal, 2011. "Does Corporate Governance Reform Necessarily Boost Firm Performance? Recent Evidence from Russia," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 11-06, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    2. Nicoleta BARBUTA-MISU & Andreea RUSU, 2014. "The Impact of Debt Policy on Financial Performance of Romanian Listed Companies," Economics and Applied Informatics, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 1, pages 29-38.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital structure dynamics; transition economies; financial system development;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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