The Determinants of Corporate Debt Maturity Structure
J. OF BUSINESS, Vol. 69 No. 3, July 1996
Posted: 2 Jul 1998
We examine the empirical determinants of debt maturity structure using a maturity structure measure that incorporates detailed information about all of a firm's liabilities. We find that larger, less risky firms, with longer-term asset maturities use longer-term debt. Additionally, debt maturity varies inversely with earnings surprises and a firm's effective tax rate, but there is only mixed support for an inverse relation with growth opportunities. We find strong support for the prediction of a non-monotonic relation between debt maturity and bond rating: firms with high or very low bond ratings use shorter-term debt.
JEL Classification: G30
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