The impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure

The impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure We study the impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure, employing a proprietary database containing financial statements of Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 2003 to 2005. The firm characteristics suggest that the capital structure decision is consistent with the pecking-order theory: Dutch SMEs use profits to reduce their debt level, and growing firms increase their debt position since they need more funds. We further document that profits reduce in particular short-term debt, whereas growth increases long-term debt. We also find that inter- and intra-industry effects are important in explaining small firms’ capital structure. Industries exhibit different average debt levels, which is in line with the trade-off theory. Furthermore, there is substantial intra-industry heterogeneity, showing that the degree of industry competition, the degree of agency conflicts, and the heterogeneity in employed technology are also important drivers of capital structure. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

The impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by The Author(s)
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-010-9281-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We study the impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure, employing a proprietary database containing financial statements of Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 2003 to 2005. The firm characteristics suggest that the capital structure decision is consistent with the pecking-order theory: Dutch SMEs use profits to reduce their debt level, and growing firms increase their debt position since they need more funds. We further document that profits reduce in particular short-term debt, whereas growth increases long-term debt. We also find that inter- and intra-industry effects are important in explaining small firms’ capital structure. Industries exhibit different average debt levels, which is in line with the trade-off theory. Furthermore, there is substantial intra-industry heterogeneity, showing that the degree of industry competition, the degree of agency conflicts, and the heterogeneity in employed technology are also important drivers of capital structure.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 3, 2010

References

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