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Managerial Traits and Capital Structure Decisions

Dirk Hackbarth

Boston University Questrom School of Business

January 2007

EFA 2004 Maastricht Meetings Paper

This article incorporates well-documented managerial traits into a tradeoff model of capital structure to study their impact on corporate financial policy and firm value. Optimistic and/or overconfident managers choose higher debt levels and issue new debt more often, but need not follow a pecking order. The model also surprisingly uncovers that these managerial traits can play a positive role. Biased managers' higher debt levels restrain them from diverting funds, which increases firm value by reducing this manager-shareholder conflict. Though higher debt levels delay investment, mildly biased managers' investment decisions can increase firm value by reducing this bondholder-shareholder conflict.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: Behavioral Finance, Financing and Investment Policy, Real Options

JEL Classification: G13, G31, G32, G33

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Date posted: February 3, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Hackbarth, Dirk, Managerial Traits and Capital Structure Decisions (January 2007). EFA 2004 Maastricht Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=362740 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.362740

Contact Information

Dirk Hackbarth (Contact Author)
Boston University Questrom School of Business ( email )
Department of Finance
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
(617) 358-4206 (Phone)
(617) 353-6667 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://people.bu.edu/dhackbar/
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