Screening, Market Signalling, and Capital Structure Theory
This paper develops an equilibrium model in which informational asymmetries about the qualities of products offered for sale are resolved through a mechanism which combines the signalling and costly screening approachs. The model is developed in the context of a capital market setting in which bondholders produce costly information about a firm's priori imperfectly known earnings distribution and use this information in specifyihng a bond valuation schedule to the firm. Given this schedule, the firm's optimal choices of debt-equity ratio and debt maturity structure subsequently signal to prospective shareholders the relevant parameters of the firm's earnings distribution.
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