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The Commitment Role of Equity Financing

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  • Fahn, Matthias

    (LMU Munich and CESifo)

  • Wamser, Georg

    (University of Tuebingen and CESifo)

  • Merlo, Valeria

    (University of Tuebingen and CESifo)

Abstract

Existing theories of a firm\'s optimal capital structure seem to fail in explaining why many healthy and profitable firms rely heavily on equity financing, even though benefits associated with debt (like tax shields) appear to be high and the bankruptcy risk low. This holds in particular for firms that show a strong commitment towards their workforce and are popular among employees. We demonstrate that such financing behavior may be driven by implicit arrangements made between a firm and its managers or employees. Equity financing generally strengthens a firm\'s credibility to honor implicit promises. Debt, however, has an adverse effect on the enforceability of these arrangements because too much debt increases the firm\'s reneging temptation, as some of the negative consequences of breaking implicit promises can be shifted to creditors. Our analysis provides an explanation for why some firms only use little debt financing. Predictions made by our theory are in line with a number of empirical results, which seem to stay in contrast to existing theories on capital structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Fahn, Matthias & Wamser, Georg & Merlo, Valeria, 2017. "The Commitment Role of Equity Financing," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 41, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:41
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Fahn & Valeria Merlo & Georg Wamser, 2019. "The Commitment Role of Equity Financing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 1232-1260.
    2. Englmaier, Florian & Fahn, Matthias, 2014. "Size Matters - “Over†investments in a Relational Contracting Setting," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 506, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Jarle Møen & Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup & Julia Tropina Bakke, 2019. "International Debt Shifting: The Value-Maximizing Mix of Internal and External Debt," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 431-465, September.
    4. Juranek, Steffen & Schindler, Dirk & Schneider, Andrea, 2018. "Royalty Taxation under Tax Competition and Profit Shifting," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181568, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Jed DeVaro & Jin-Hyuk Kim & Nick Vikander, 2014. "Pay-for-(Persistent)-Luck: CEO Bonuses Under Relational and Formal Contracting," Discussion Papers 14-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Gietl, Daniel & Kassner, Bernhard, 2020. "Managerial Overconfidence and Bank Bailouts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 202-222.
    7. Florian Englmaier & Matthias Fahn, 2015. "Size Matters - "Over"investments in a Relational Contracting Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 5154, CESifo.
    8. Matthias Fahn & Valeria Merlo & Georg Wamser, 2017. "Relational Contracts, the Cost of Enforcing Formal Contracts, and Capital Structure Choice - Theory and Evidence," Economics working papers 2017-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    relational contracts; capital structure; corporate finance; debt financing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • 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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