The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Firms'Capital Structure
60 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: December 21, 2015
Using a data set covering about 277,000 firms across 79 countries over the period 2004-11, this paper examines the evolution of firms' capital structure during the global financial crisis and its aftermath in 2010-11. The study finds that firm leverage and debt maturity declined in advanced economies and developing countries, even in countries that did not experience a crisis. The deleveraging and maturity reduction were particularly significant for privately held firms, including small and medium enterprises. For small and medium-size enterprises, these effects were larger in countries with less efficient legal systems, weaker information-sharing mechanisms, shallower banking systems, and more restrictions on bank entry. In contrast, there is weaker evidence of a significant decline of leverage and debt maturity among firms listed on a stock exchange, which are typically much larger than other firms and likely benefit from the "spare tire" of easier access to capital market financing.
Keywords: Economic Insecurity
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