Does ownership structure explain the zero-leverage puzzle?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Title/Research question: Does ownership structure explain the zero-leverage puzzle? Authors: Ásta Brá Hafsteinsdóttir and Snædís Helgadóttir Supervisor: Håkan Jankensgård Theoretical framework: Modigliani and Miller Theorems, Trade-off Theory, Pecking Order Theory, Market Timing Theory, Agency theory, theories regarding ownership structure. Method: Quantitative approach using logit model regressions with panel data to interpret the relationship between ownership structure and zero- and almost zero-leverage. Conclusion: The results confirm that the zero-leverage phenomenon does indeed exist on the Swedish market and that the characteristics of these firms are largely consistent with research from other countries. The main finding of this thesis is that ownership structure can partly explain the zero-leverage puzzle in financially constrained firms only.

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