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Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity

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  • Andrea Eisfeldt

    () (Department of Finance Northwestern University)

  • Adriano Rampini

Abstract

This paper studies the role of leasing of productive assets. When capital is leased (or rented), it is more easily repossessed and hence leasing has higher debt capacity and relaxes financing constraints. However, leasing gives rise to an agency problem with regard to the care with which the leased asset is used or maintained. We show that this implies that more credit constrained firms lease capital, while less credit constrained firms buy capital. Our theory is consistent with the explanation of leasing provided by leasing firms, namely that leasing “preserves capital,†which is generally considered a fallacy in the academic literature. We provide empirical evidence that small and credit constrained firms lease a considerably larger fraction of their capital than larger and less constrained firms

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Eisfeldt & Adriano Rampini, 2006. "Leasing, Ability to Repossess, and Debt Capacity," 2006 Meeting Papers 461, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:461
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    leasing; credit constraints; investment; small firms;

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • 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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