Network Effects in Corporate Financial Policies
65 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2020
Date Written: July 23, 2020
We study the role of peer effects in capital structure decisions by exploiting the heterogeneous and intransitive nature of product market networks combined with spatial econometric techniques that account for these features. In contrast to prior work, this approach allows us to provide economically meaningful estimates of the magnitude of the causal role of peer effects in capital structure decisions. Our estimates indicate an initial sensitivity of a firm's leverage choice to peer average leverage on the order of .20, indicating a substantive but moderate level of strategic complementarity in capital structure decisions. Our modeling allows peer effects to vary by a firm's location in the product market network, with more central firms having relatively larger aggregate effects on their set of network peers. Our evidence appears most likely to reflect strategic behavior. Extensions of our modeling framework to related finance questions are also briefly considered.
Keywords: Capital Structure, Peer Effects, Networks, Spatial Econometrics
JEL Classification: G31, G32, C40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation