Optimal capital structure: a trade-off model and its empirical testing
Universitat de Lleida. Departament d'Administració d'Empreses i Gestió Econòmica dels Recursos Naturals
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In the present research we have set forth a new, simple, Trade-Off model that would allow us to calculate how much debt and, by default, how much equity a company should have, using easily available information and calculating the cost of debt dynamically on the basis of the effect that the capital structure of the company has on the risk of bankruptcy; in an attempt to answer this question. The proposed model has been applied to the companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) in 2007. We have used consolidated financial data from 1996 to 2006, published by Bloomberg. We have used simplex optimization method to find the debt level that maximizes firm value. Then, we compare the estimated debt with real debt of companies using statistical nonparametric Mann-Whitney. The results indicate that 63% of companies do not show a statistically significant difference between the real and the estimated debt.