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Optimal Capital Structure and Speed of Adjustment under Hyperinflation and Dollarization

Strike Mbulawa, Nathan F. Okurut, Mogale Ntsosa and Narain Sinha

Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 2020, vol. 12, issue 2, 158-177

Abstract: Economic challenges in Zimbabwe have resulted in firms being pushed out of their optimal leverage. Firms are faced with the need to move back to the optimal level of financing to improve their value. They tend to adjust quickly to the optimal level whenever failing to do so is costlier. This study employs a dynamic capital structure model to examine the determinants of optimal leverage and the speed of adjustment under a hyperinflation and dollarization period (2000–2016). The study shows that firms have an optimal leverage and there are costs of adjusting to this level of capital. Findings are consistent with theoretical predictions of the static trade-off theory (STT) and agency theory. The adjustment factors for all the models were found to be at least 0.475 and are higher under hyperinflation than under dollarization. Both firm and macroeconomic factors explain the optimal capital structure while the former also explains the speed of adjustment. Policies focusing on improving access to and reducing costs for finance will assist firms to maximize value as they adjust to the desired financing mix. The policies adopted may vary in response to the economic environment.

Keywords: Capital structure; hyperinflation; dollarization; speed of adjustment; Zimbabwe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0974910120919023

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