Despite many efforts to develop a universally accepted theory of capital structure, observed capital structures do not appear to conform to existing theories. The objective of this research is to empirically examine capital structure decisions in terms of the relationship of debt policy with explanatory variables designed to capture the asset structure of each firm, the degree to which each firm is diversified, the agency relationships between management and owners, the level of business risk and the impact of alternative tax shields. The results suggest that the most influential factors are the asset type, the degree of firm diversification and the availability of alternative tax shields.
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