Institutions and Capital Structure: The Case of Chinese Property Firms
Posted: 14 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 13, 2018
Different institutional features have been found to affect capital structure decisions, but their connections to corporate finance theories are not always clear. This study aims to assess the predictive power of the agency and pecking order theories in two distinct information environments. The strategy is to compare two similar groups of property firms listed on the Mainland and Hong Kong stock exchanges respectively. Both groups operate in the Mainland property market and are subject to the same tax code, but the degrees of transparency and integrity of the stock markets are weaker for the Mainland-listed firms. We find that factors related to agency conflicts and information asymmetries exert a stronger influence on the capital structure decisions of Mainland-listed firms than on those of the Hong Kong-listed firms. This is confirmed by a test of the agency theory using such corporate governance factors as managerial shareholding and shareholding concentration and by a s test of the pecking order theory using an error correction model. A further test on the increments of R-squared in the regression models shows that variables derived from the two theories better explain the variations of the capital structure of Mainland-listed firms than those of Hong Kong-listed firms.
Keywords: Institutions; Capital Structure; Agency Problems; Information Asymmetries
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