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Korean J Financ Stud > Volume 47(3); 2018 > Article
Korean Journal of Financial Studies 2018;47(3):411-433.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26845/KJFS.2018.    Published online June 30, 2018.
Examining the Divergent Effects of Debt Level and Debt Financing on Firm Valuation
Sang-Joon Kim
부채수준 및 부채증감분이 기업가치에 미치는 효과
This study postulates that neither trade-off theory nor pecking order theory is perfect to explain the effect of debt on firm valuation. Illuminating that the prior literature did not distinguish between debt levels (i.e. a state of capital structure) and debt financing (i.e. an action for capital structure), this study specifies the impacts of debt level and debt financing on firm valuation. The debt level signifies how a firm’s capital structure is characterized with debts. Since the dominance of debts in the capital structure indicates how likely the firm has the bankruptcy risks, the higher debt level will make the firm valuation more detrimental. Meanwhile the debt financing indicates how a firm constructs its capital structure by adding debts. As a means of investments, debt financing can be strategically interpreted from the market. As such, debt financing can bring more positive evaluation of the firm and it can enhance firm valuation. These divergent impacts of debt level and debt financing on firm valuation are examined using COMPUSTAT database of 3,505 U. S. listed firms ranging from 1962 to 2010. I employed the fixed-effects models to estimate Tobin’s q with respect to the debt-equity ratio (representing the debt level) and the change in debt-equity ratio (representing the debt financing). The results show that debt levels show a negative impact on Tobin’s q but debt financing has a positive effect. As these findings reveal, we can specify the previously-inconclusive impacts of debts on firm valuation by elaborating the different meanings of debt levels and debt financing.
Key Words: 부채수준,부채증감분,기업가치,상충관계이론,자본조달순위이론,Debt Level,Debt Financing,Firm Valuation,Trade-Off Theory,Pecking Order Theory
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