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Corporate Finance In Europe Confronting Theory With Practice

Author

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  • Brounen, D.
  • de Jong, A.
  • Koedijk, C.G.

Abstract

In this paper we present the results of an international survey among 313 CFOs on capital budgeting, cost of capital, capital structure, and corporate governance. We extend previous results of Graham and Harvey (2001) by broadening their sample internationally, by including corporate governance, and by applying multivariate regression analysis. We document interesting insights on how theoretical concepts are applied by professionals in the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, and France and compare these results with the U.S. We discover compelling variations between large and small firms across all markets. While large firms frequently use present value techniques and the capital asset pricing model when assessing the financial feasibility of an investment opportunity, CFOs of small firms still rely on the payback criterion. Regarding debt policy we document more subtle disparities across firms and national samples. We also find substantial variation in corporate governance structures, which turn out to be more oriented at shareholder wealth in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Corporate finance practice appears to be influenced mostly by firm size, to a lesser extent by shareholder orientation, while national differences are weak at best.

Suggested Citation

  • Brounen, D. & de Jong, A. & Koedijk, C.G., 2004. "Corporate Finance In Europe Confronting Theory With Practice," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-002-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:1111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital structure; corporate governance; cost of capital; financial economics; international economics; law and economics;

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics

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