In this paper we investigate the capital structure determinants of Greek, French, Italian, and Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We compare the capital structures of SMEs across countries and differences in country characteristics, asset structure, size, profitability, risk, and growth and how these may impact capital structure choices. The results show that SMEs in these countries determine their capital structure in similar ways. We attribute these similarities to the country institutional and financial characteristics and the commonality of their civil law systems. However, structural differences arise due to firm specific effects. We find that size is positively related to leverage while the relationship between leverage and asset structure, profitability and risk is negative. Growth is not a statistically significant determinant of leverage for any of the four countries. Our main conclusion is that firm-specific rather than country facts explain differences in capital structure choices of SMEs.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 19, 2008
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