Capital Structure of a Firm Essay

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Does the capital structure of a firm really matter? If so, how and why does it matter? Practitioners and scholars of corporate finance have debated these questions for several years and have found it difficult to come up with definitive answers. The classical work of Modigliani and Miller (1958) provided the impetus for what is now, orthodox corporate finance theory on the optimal capital structure of firms. They postulated that, in a perfect or frictionless capital market, the choice between debt and equity financing has no material effect on the value of the firm. Stern and Chew (2003) noted that following the Modigliani-Miller propositions, academic researchers in the 1960s and 1970s turned their attention to market imperfections…show more content…
Secondly, Barclay and Smith noted that the theories of optimal capital structure are not mutually exclusive. Thirdly, he noted that many of the variables that we think affect optimal capital structure are difficult to measure. The literature on the financing decisions of firms in developed economies, the consequent capital structures formed and the effect of these capital structures on the performance of these firms has been quite extensive. In stark contrast, however, to the voluminous nature of this literature in developed economies, there is a relative paucity of studies investigating the same in developing countries. Robinson (2003) pointed out that as developing countries move to liberalise their economies, and large private corporations seek to become leading actors in this industrialization and economic development, the relationship between corporate organization, corporate financing patterns, capital structure and economic and industrial development become issues that required more attention at the academic, organizational and public policy levels.Robinson further noted that a number of pertinent questions still arise. On such question is whether the financing patterns or capital structures of developing country corporations similar to those of firms in developed countries, either currently or at an earlier stage of development of the latter. Secondly, one may want to find out if there are structures and patterns of corporate finance which are
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