Effects of Economic Policy Uncertainty on Decisions to Raise Capital
53 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2020
Date Written: April 1, 2020
This paper investigates how economic policy uncertainty and ownership structure affect the decisions of US firms to raise capital. We use a three-step sequential framework involving the decisions to raise capital and, depending on the decision to raise capital, the choice of financing instrument, and the volume of capital. The simultaneous equation framework not only treats the three decisions sequentially but also removes endogenous selection bias. By using a sample of 45,635 firm-year records of publicly listed non-financial firms for the period starting from 2000 to the end of 2018, we find that during periods of higher economic policy uncertainty, firms engage in external financing more frequently with a preference toward debt-based instruments. In addition, ownership by institutional investors is associated with a tendency to raise capital through debt financing and in lower volumes, supporting ownership control hypothesis. Our results from economic policy uncertainty provide evidence of pecking order theory and market timing theory in raising capital.
Keywords: economic policy uncertainty, ownership structure, capital issuance, equity, debt, corporate governance, simultaneous equation model
JEL Classification: G00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation