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The Modigliani-Miller Theorems: A Cornerstone of Finance

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Abstract

The Modigliani-Miller (MM) theorems are a cornerstone of finance for two reasons. The first is substantive and it stems from their nature of “irrelevance propositions”: by providing a crystal-clear benchmark case where capital structure and dividend policy do not affect firm value, by implication these propositions help us understand when these decisions may affect the value of firms, and why. Indeed, the entire subsequent development of corporate finance can be described essentially as exploring the consequences of relaxing the MM assumptions. The second reason for the seminal importance of MM is methodological: by relying on an arbitrage argument, they set a precedent not only within the realm of corporate finance but also (and even more importantly) within that of asset pricing.

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  • Marco Pagano, 2005. "The Modigliani-Miller Theorems: A Cornerstone of Finance," CSEF Working Papers 139, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:139
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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Efstathios Magerakis & Costas Siriopoulos & Athanasios Tsagkanos, 2015. "Cash Holdings and Firm Characteristics: Evidence from UK Market," Journal of Risk & Control, Risk Market Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 19-43.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Modigliani-Miller theorem; capital structure; leverage; dividend policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General

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