Firm Maturity and the Pecking Order Theory
31 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2011
Date Written: August 12, 2010
We identify firms according to two life cycle stages, namely growth and maturity, and test the pecking order theory of financing. We find a strong maturity effect, i.e. the pecking order theory describes the financing behavior of mature firms better than growth firms. Our findings show that firm maturity is an alternative proxy for debt capacity. In particular, mature firms are older, more stable and highly profitable with good credit histories. Thus, they naturally have greater debt capacity. After controlling for firm maturity, the pecking order theory describes the financing behavior of firms fairly well.
Keywords: Life Cycle, Pecking Order, Capital Structure
JEL Classification: G32
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