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The impact of interest rates on firms' financing policies

Sigitas Karpavičius and Fan Yu

Journal of Corporate Finance, 2017, vol. 45, issue C, 262-293

Abstract: This study analyzes whether corporate financing policies of the US industrial firms have depended on borrowing costs during the last forty years. The results show that the impact is either zero or slightly negative. Even in the latter case, the results are economically insignificant. Overall, our findings suggest that firms do not adjust their capital structures based on interest rates, except when market participants expect that real gross domestic product growth will be negative. Using a dynamic partial equilibrium model, we show that relatively high leverage adjustment costs are able to explain the weak negative relation between interest rates and a firm's leverage. Our results are also consistent with the view that firms target debt-to-asset ratio rather than debt level.

Keywords: Interest rates; Firm's financing decisions; Monetary policy; Recession (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E43 G12 G32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:262-293