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Capital Structure and Firm Performance: Did the Financial Crisis Matter?: A cross-industry study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Previous research confirms the remarkable change in firms’ capital structure when the financial crisis took place in 2008. This paper examines if the financial crisis affected the capital structure in various industries differently. In the context of a financial shock, this study further studies whether the industries’ chosen capital structure even have an impact on firms’ performance, a research area that yields inconsistent answers. Using two panel data regressions and long-term and short-term debt as proxies for capital structure, we study listed US firms within the industries Consumer Goods, Consumer Services, Healthcare, Industrials and Technology before and during the financial crisis in 2008. The findings show that the capital structure changed differently among the industries and we find a significant effect of the crisis in the Consumer Services and Healthcare industry. In addition, our results indicate that the impact of capital structure on firm performance is industry-specific as well. We find statistically supported relations in the Consumer Services, Healthcare and Technology industry. By proving that the financial crisis did matter differently in various industries, this study contributes to the existing literature within the area of capital structure and its impact on firm performance. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 71 p.
Keyword [en]
Financial crises, Capital Structure, Firm Performance, Industries, Long-term debt, Short-term debt, Trade-off theory, Pecking order theory, Market timing theory
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-297962OAI: diva2:944378
Educational program
Master Programme in Business and Management
Available from: 2016-06-29 Created: 2016-06-29 Last updated: 2016-06-29Bibliographically approved

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Master thesis - Hassan and Samour(5573 kB)151 downloads
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