Why Do Some Firms Go Debt-Free?
New York University
January 15, 2013
NYU Poly Research Paper, Forthcoming
Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies, Forthcoming
This paper examines debt-free firms. We find that favorable equity market valuation and borrowing constraints contribute to these firms’ extreme debt conservatism. Small debt-free firms with little access to credit markets are seen to raise equity while paying high dividends. Large debt-free firms, generating more cash flows relative to their investment needs, often pay off their debt while paying high dividends. The results suggest that high dividends for small debt-free firms help them establish good reputations in equity markets, while high dividends for large debt-free firms reduce the agency costs of free cash flow.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: capital structure, debt-free capital structure, dividend policy
JEL Classification: G32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 18, 2006 ; Last revised: March 1, 2013
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