Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Financial Economics

Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Mohammad K Hassan

Second Advisor

Tarun K Mukherjee

Third Advisor

Arja H Turunen-Red

Fourth Advisor

Walter J Lane

Fifth Advisor

Abdulrahman Alhassan

Abstract

The dissertation consists of two essays. The first essay investigates if market illiquidity is a significant determinant of capital structure decisions. We hypothesize that firms would likely compare the illiquidity of two sources of external funding at a given point in time and issue the one with lower illiquidity. Therefore, if the level of illiquidity is a key driver of firms’ capital structure decisions in that year, the higher the level of stocks illiquidity, the more of its financing needs are satisfied by the issuance of debt, and the higher the level of bonds illiquidity, the less of its financing needs are satisfied by the issuance of debt. We find that illiquidity of the two sources of external funding affects significantly the capital structure decisions of U.S. firms over the sample period 2003-2018. Specifically, the coefficient of relative bonds illiquidity is negative, large, and strongly significant regardless of leverage measurement, and the coefficient of relative stocks illiquidity is positive, large, and strongly significant regardless of leverage measurement.

The second essay investigates if markets illiquidity is a significant determinant of investment decisions. We argue that an increase in investment opportunities due to an increase in bonds liquidity is for the decrease of the firm’s cost of capital and the decrease in its issuance cost. With a lower cost of capital and a higher ability to issue securities, firms are able to undertake more investment opportunities. We find that bonds and stocks illiquidity affect significantly the investment decisions of U.S. firms over the sample period 2003-2018. Specifically, the coefficients of bonds and stocks illiquidity are negative, large, and strongly significant regardless of investment measurement. Also, we find the effect of bonds illiquidity is more pronounced for financially constrained firms using different financial constraints measures.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Saturday, May 23, 2020

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