Manager’s Characteristics, Debt Financing and Firm Value*

He Ying (何瑛) and Zhang Dawei (张大伟)
School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), Beijing, China Guotai Junan Securities, Beijing

Abstract: Based on the behavioral finance theory and the upper echelons theory, this paper employs the data of China’s A-share listed companies from 2008 to 2013 as research samples, and empirically tests the effects of managers with different characteristics on debt financing and firm value for enterprises of different ownership nature. Results of this study indicate that the debt financing of the listed companies in China can reduce the agency cost with a positive governance effect that promotes firm value. Male, better educated, short-tenured, and financially experienced managers are more likely to be overconfident and prefer debt financing. Specifically, the manager’s age, level of education, and work experience can significantly promote the effect of debt financing on firm value. Compared with SOEs, private enterprises can improve their firm value more significantly through debt financing; the education and work experience of the managers of private enterprises are more positively correlated with debt financing and can more significantly improve firm value through debt financing. This paper’s findings suggest that the manager’s characteristics and firm ownership nature must be taken into account to reach valid conclusions on the governance effects of debt financing on firm value. Meanwhile, these conclusions help unravel the mechanism and economic implications of debt financing, and contribute to the improvement of the capital structure decisions and human resources management practices of China’s listed companies. This study not only enriches the literature and empirical evidence on the correlation between managers’ characteristics and firm financing, but indicate that managers’ characteristics and firm ownership are important considerations for investigating the governance effects of debt financing on firm value and have a vital impact on the formulation and implementation of firm financing decisions.

Keywords: manager’s characteristics, debt financing, firm value, firm ownership nature

JEL Classification Codes: M1
DOI:1 0.19602/j .chinaeconomist.2019.9.09

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