Recent studies have shown that the level of insider holdings and firm value are related in a nonlinear manner. Other studies find that the level of debt in a firm's capital structure declines with increases in its growth options. The principal‐agent relationship maintains that an increase in the equity stake of insiders reduces the agency costs of issuing debt. Extension of this premise suggests, however, that the agency costs of debt rise with extremely high levels of insider holdings as insiders consume perquisites to the detriment of outside stakeholders, revealing a nonlinear relation attributable to agency costs. We examine the relation between debt financing and insider holdings for 1894 firms at the end of 1989. In keeping with the hypothesized relation, the cross‐sectional regressions of leverage on insider holdings reveal significant nonlinearities. Leverage first rises with insider holdings and then declines. The positive relation between leverage and insider holdings returns as inside ownership approaches 100 percent. These results hold for two different measures of leverage and after controlling for industry differences in leverage, tax shields, firm size, growth options, and earnings or return volatility. The results also hold when regulated firms are excluded from the analysis.
Wansley, J., Cary Collins, M. and Dutta, A. (1996), "Further Evidence on the Relation Between Corporate Ownership Structure and Debt Policy", Managerial Finance, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 56-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb018549Download as .RIS
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