The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance publishes leading research across all the major fields of finance. It is one of the most widely cited journals in academic finance, and in all of economics. Each of the six issues per year reaches over 8,000 academics, finance professionals, libraries, and government and financial institutions around the world. The journal is the official publication of The American Finance Association, the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.

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The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice

Published: March 1988   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1988.tb02585.x

SHERIDAN TITMAN, ROBERTO WESSELS

This paper analyzes the explanatory power of some of the recent theories of optimal capital structure. The study extends empirical work on capital structure theory in three ways. First, it examines a much broader set of capital structure theories, many of which have not previously been analyzed empirically. Second, since the theories have different empirical implications in regard to different types of debt instruments, the authors analyze measures of short‐term, long‐term, and convertible debt rather than an aggregate measure of total debt. Third, the study uses a factor‐analytic technique that mitigates the measurement problems encountered when working with proxy variables.