Leverage, debt maturity and firm investment: An empirical analysis

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In this paper, we examine the potential interactions of corporate financing and investment decisions in the presence of incentive problems. We develop a system-based approach to investigate the effects of growth opportunities on leverage and debt maturity as well as the effects of these financing decisions on firm investment. Using a panel of UK firms between 1996 and 2003, we find that high-growth firms control underinvestment incentives by reducing leverage but not by shortening debt maturity. There is a positive relation between leverage and debt maturity as predicted by the liquidity risk hypothesis. Leverage has a negative effect on firm investment levels, which is consistent with the overinvestment hypothesis regarding the disciplining role of leverage for firms with limited growth opportunities. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-258
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Business Finance and Accounting
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Capital Structure
  • Debt Maturity
  • Dynamic Panel Data
  • Investment
  • Leverage


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