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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The dynamics of capital structure choice Yu, Albert Chun-ming


This thesis employs two-period state-contingent model based upon the "tax shield plus bankruptcy costs" approach to examine the dynamic capital structure decision. By allowing recapitalization at the end of period one, we can analyse the dynamics of the firm's capital structure choice. Also, the effect of a call provision on bonds can be examined. Simulated results show that the firm will recapitalize at the end of period one only if the gain in firm value, with- or ex-dividend, resulting from recapitalization exceeds the after-tax flotation costs. There exists a tolerable recapitalization boundary within which the firm will not recapitalize. This implies that the empirically observed capital structure is not necessarily at the acme of the firm value function, as most empirical studies assume. Another important result is that a call provision on bonds may be wealth reducing; the call provision may reduce the wealth of shareholders by inducing recapitalization in states which is suboptimal if there is no call provision, and incurs flotation costs which could have been avoided. The gain in firm value resulting from recapitalization may be too small to justify the extra flotation costs and thus reduces the overall firm value.

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