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Keywords:

  • Ownership structure;
  • investment;
  • financing and dividend decisions;
  • agency costs;
  • panel data
  • G31;
  • G32;
  • G35

Abstract

This paper analyses the determinants of ownership structure by focusing on the role played by investment, financing and dividend decisions. The use of the Generalised Method of Moments allows us to provide new evidence on this important corporate governance topic, since it controls for the endogeneity problem. Our most relevant findings show that: i) increases in debt lead insiders to limit the risk they bear by reducing their holdings; ii) monitoring by large outside owners substitutes for the disciplinary role of debt; and iii) both inside and outside owners are encouraged to increase their stakes in the firm in view of higher dividends. Our results hold after controlling for equity issues and share repurchases.