The global financial crisis and the capital structure of firms: Was the impact more severe among SMEs and non-listed firms?
Maria Martinez Peria and
Thierry Tressel ()
Journal of Corporate Finance, 2020, vol. 60, issue C
Using a dataset covering about 276,998 firms across 75 countries over the period 2004–2011, this paper examines the short-run evolution of firms' capital structures following the start of the global financial crisis and its immediate aftermath, comparing the experience of already levered SMEs, large non-listed firms, and listed companies. We find that firm leverage and debt maturity declined both in advanced economies and in developing countries, even in those that did not experience a crisis. The deleveraging and maturity reduction were particularly significant for non-listed firms, including both SMEs as well as large non-listed companies. For SMEs, these effects were larger in countries with less efficient legal systems, weaker information sharing mechanisms, less developed financial sectors, and with more restrictions on bank entry. In contrast, there is weaker evidence of a significant decline in leverage and debt maturity among listed companies which are typically much larger than other firms and likely to benefit from the “spare tire” of easier access to capital market financing. Though our results are robust to many changes in sample and specification, we cannot rule out that survivorship bias and attrition could affect our estimates to some degree.
Keywords: Capital structure; Corporate debt; Global financial crisis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F65 G01 G30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:corfin:v:60:y:2020:i:c:s0929119918308393
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Corporate Finance is currently edited by A. Poulsen and J. Netter
More articles in Journal of Corporate Finance from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().