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Determinants of Corporate Capital Structure: Australian Evidence

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Abstract

This study seeks to provide evidence on the importnace and significance of capital structure determinants in the Australian context. The analysis was implemented on a sample of 226 Australian companies from 1977 to 1985. The following results are obtained. Company non-debt tax shields display a negative relationship with respect to each of the debt ratios. This evidence is consistent with the theory proposed by DeAngelo and Masulis (1980) that firms with non-debt tax shields at their disposal can use these as substitutes for interest tax shields. The evidence canvassed also lends some support to the pecking order hypothesis of Myers and Majluf (1984). Specifically, significant negative relationships between profitability and all debt ratios are found. The implication is that the sample of firms studied prefer to finance investments with internally retained funds before issuing debt. Some evidence of a size effect is present and this indicates that the larger firms in the sample tended to employ more debt in their capital structures. The positive relationship between cash holdings and debt ratios indicates some support for the free cash flow hypothesis of Jensen (1986), although these estimates are not significant. No support for the growth opportunity and collateral value attributes as determinants of deb ratios can be discerned, consistent with Titman and Wessels (1988).

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  • Carl Chiarella & Toan Pham & Ah Boon Sim & Madeleine Tan, 1991. "Determinants of Corporate Capital Structure: Australian Evidence," Working Paper Series 3, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:wpaper:3
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    Cited by:

    1. Shahab u Din & Attiya Javid & Muhammad Imran, 2013. "External and Internal Ownership Concentration and Debt Decisions in an Emerging Market: Evidence from Pakistan," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 3(12), pages 1583-1597, December.
    2. Suchard, Jo-Ann & Singh, Manohar, 2006. "The determinants of the hybrid security issuance decision for Australian firms," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 269-290, June.
    3. Koh, SzeKee & Durand, Robert B. & Watson, Iain, 2011. "Seize the moment: Opportunism in Australian capital markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 374-389, September.
    4. Hoa Nguyen & Robert Faff, 2010. "Are firms hedging or speculating? The relationship between financial derivatives and firm risk," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(10), pages 827-843.
    5. Islam, Silvia Z. & Khandaker, Sarod, 2015. "Firm leverage decisions: Does industry matter?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 94-107.
    6. Sanjiva Prasad & Christopher J. Green & Victor Murinde, 2001. "Company Financing, Captial Structure, and Ownership: A Survey, and Implications for Developing Economies," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 12 edited by Morten Balling.
    7. Timothy J. Brailsford & Barry R. Oliver & Sandra L. H. Pua, 2002. "On the relation between ownership structure and capital structure," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 42(1), pages 1-26.
    8. Batten, Jonathan & Hogan, Warren & In, Francis, 2002. "Valuing Credit Spreads on Quality Australian Dollar Eurobonds in a Multivariate EGARCH Framework," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 115-128, March.
    9. Ang, James S. & Fatemi, Ali & Tourani-Rad, Alireza, 1997. "Capital structure and dividend policies of Indonesian firms," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 87-103, February.
    10. Philip Brown & Andrew Ferguson & Kate Stone, 2008. "Share Purchase Plans in Australia: Issuer Characteristics and Valuation Implications," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 33(2), pages 307-332, December.
    11. Shumi Akhtar, 2005. "The Determinants of Capital Structure for Australian Multinational and Domestic Corporations," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 30(2), pages 321-341, December.
    12. Selim Aren & Lutfihak Alpkan & Bulent Sezen & Ziya Alper Guncu, 2011. "Drivers of firms’ debt ratios: evidence from Taiwanese and Turkish firms," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 53-70, May.
    13. Sebastian Ofumbia Uremadu & Rapuluchukwu Uchenna Efobi, 2012. "The Impact of Capital Structure and Liquidity on Corporate Returns in Nigeria: Evidence from Manufacturing Firms," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 2(3), pages 1-16, July.
    14. Alves, Paulo F. Pereira & Ferreira, Miguel A., 2011. "Capital structure and law around the world," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 119-150, July.
    15. Yue Cheng & Christopher J. Green, 2008. "Taxes And Capital Structure: A Study Of European Companies," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 76(S1), pages 85-115, September.
    16. Paul Gatward & Ian G. Sharpe, 1996. "Capital Structure Dynamics with Interrelated Adjustment: Australian Evidence," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 21(2), pages 89-112, December.

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