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A theory of multiperiod debt structure

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  • Huang, Chong
  • Oehmke, Martin
  • Zhong, Hongda

Abstract

We develop a theory of multiperiod debt structure. A simple trade-off between the termination threat required to make debt repayments incentive compatible and the desire to avoid early liquidation determines the number of repayments, their timing, and amounts. As firms increase their borrowing, they add periodic risky repayments from the back of the maturity structure, with the time between repayments increasing in cash-flow risk. Cash-flow growth or a significant risk-free cash-flow component limits the number of risky repayments. Firms with a significant risk-free cash-flow component choose dispersed maturity profiles with smaller, relatively safe repayments every period, rather than riskier periodic repayments.

Suggested Citation

  • Huang, Chong & Oehmke, Martin & Zhong, Hongda, 2019. "A theory of multiperiod debt structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 90429, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:90429
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    Cited by:

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    3. Zhong, Hongda, 2021. "A dynamic model of optimal creditor dispersion," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 106646, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Chiu, Wan-Chien & King, Tao-Hsien Dolly & Wang, Chih-Wei, 2021. "Debt maturity dispersion and the cost of bank loans," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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