Target Capital Structure and Adjustment Speed in Asia

Fachartikel 754

Co Autoren
Andre Getzmann, Sebastian Lang


Studies on the capital structure of Asian corporations are rare, and most of those studies support different explanations of financing decisions compared to the ones accepted for the USA and Europe. We test relationships that are typical of the Tradeoff Theory and the Pecking Order Theory, and analyze the speed of adjustment toward target capital structures for 1239 companies with capitalizations of more than US$1 billion listed on 11 Asian stock exchanges and belonging to eight industrial sectors. Our results are based on generalized method of moments (GMM) estimations for the determinants of capital structures and system-GMM estimations for the speed of adjustment, and robustness is checked using book leverage and market leverage on the basis of ordinary least squares estimations and two-stage least squares estimations. We contribute to the literature by finding strong evidence that companies in Asia pursue target capital structures, as predicted by the Tradeoff Theory. Only in one respect does the Pecking Order Theory demonstrate superior explanatory power. We further show that the convergence to target capital structures is consistent with international evidence, estimated at an annual adjustment speed of 24–45% of original leverage levels. Finally, our comparison among eight industries shows that the capital structure choice in Asia is influenced by fixed effects.

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