What is the role of institutional investors in corporate capital structure decisions? A survey analysis

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Abstract

We survey institutional investors about their role in capital structure decisions and views on capital structure theories. Over 82% of investors believe they influence corporate capital structure decisions, especially for smaller, younger, and more financially constrained firms. Unlike corporate managers, investors consider agency costs of free cash flow important drivers of capital structure. Investors' responses also support pecking order and market timing theories. Most investors find financial constraints important, with components of the Kaplan–Zingales and Whited–Wu indexes dominating other proxies. Overall, our findings suggest a first-order impact of investor preferences on capital structure decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-286
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
Volume58
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Capital structure
  • Capital supply
  • Financial constraints
  • Institutional investors
  • Security design
  • Security issuance

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