Black Spots' in Capital Structure Studies: The Case of Non-Existing Debt
Journal of Corporate Finance Research, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 5-23, 2015
19 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2017
Date Written: 2015
This study focuses on what can be characterized as “black spots” in the existing studies - the selection issue, which is manifested in the fact that a nontrivial number of companies occasionally do not have any debt on their balance sheet. The problem of zero debt is akin to truncated and censored regression models, which are useful when the dependent variable is observed in some ranges but not in others. We find strong evidence that the results of the target adjustment studies of capital structure, which use fitted values of debt ratios, can be potentially biased due to failure to correct for censoring due to zero-leverage observations. This paper also looks at the issue of dynamic properties of capital structure choice and the persistence in the capital structure choice and examines the effect of the 2008 global financial crisis on Russian firms’ capital structure choice.
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