• capital structure;
  • leverage;
  • debt maturity;
  • investment;
  • dynamic panel data

Abstract:  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.