This paper examines to what extent credit ratings directly affect capital structure decisions. The paper outlines discrete costs (benefits) associated with firm credit rating level differences and tests whether concerns for these costs (benefits) directly affect debt and equity financing decisions. Firms near a credit rating upgrade or downgrade issue less debt relative to equity than firms not near a change in rating. This behavior is consistent with discrete costs (benefits) of rating changes but is not explained by traditional capital structure theories. The results persist within previous empirical tests of the pecking order and tradeoff capital structure theories.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.