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Testing Static Trade-off Against Pecking Order Models of Capital Structure

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  • Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder
  • Stewart C. Myers

Abstract

This paper tests traditional capital structure models against the alternative of a pecking order model of corporate financing. The basic pecking order model, which predicts external debt financing driven by the internal financial deficit, has much greater explanatory power than a static trade-off model which predicts that each firm adjusts toward an optimal debt ratio. We show that the power of some usual tests of the trade-off model is virtually nil. We question whether the available empirical evidence supports the notion of an optimal debt ratio.

Suggested Citation

  • Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder & Stewart C. Myers, 1994. "Testing Static Trade-off Against Pecking Order Models of Capital Structure," NBER Working Papers 4722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4722
    Note: CF
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. " Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-1493, December.
    2. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
    5. Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. " On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-878, July.
    6. Michael S. Long & Ileen B. Malitz, 1985. "Investment Patterns and Financial Leverage," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Capital Structures in the United States, pages 325-352 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1986. "Valuation effects of corporate debt offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 119-151.
    8. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60.
    9. Taggart, Robert A, Jr, 1977. "A Model of Corporate Financing Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1467-1484, December.
    10. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    11. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    12. 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 1421-1460, December.
    13. Shyam-Sunder, Lakshmi, 1991. "The Stock Price Effect of Risky versus Safe Debt," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(04), pages 549-558, December.
    14. 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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    16. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    17. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    18. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-144, March.
    19. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
    20. Fuller, Wayne A. & Battese, George E., 1974. "Estimation of linear models with crossed-error structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-78, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Elena Bontempi & Roberto Golinelli, 2012. "The effect of neglecting the slope parameters’ heterogeneity on dynamic models of corporate capital structure," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(11), pages 1733-1751, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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