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An empirical investigation of the financial growth life cycle
Mac an Bhaird, Ciarán; Lucey, Brian
Purpose - This paper empirically examines the financing of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through a financial growth life cycle model. Reporting and analysing a large primary data set across six age categories, a number of statistical tests are conducted to test the financial growth life cycle model (Berger and Udell, 1998). Design/methodology/approach - Data in publicly available databases is generally unsuitable to examine the financial life cycle model, thus a questionnaire survey was employed to collect data. Because of the well-documented reticence of SME owners to reveal detailed financial information (Avery et al., 1998), data was requested in percentage form. This innovative methodology was successful, as 92 percent of respondents disclosed detailed financing data. A response rate of 42.6 percent across six industry sectors provided data to employ parametric techniques. Findings – Analysis of respondents’ capital structures across age groups indicates distinct changes in sources of finance employed by firms over time. Financing choices are consistent with Myers’s (1984) pecking order hypothesis, and the importance of profitability in financing SMEs is emphasised. Contrary to conventional wisdom, respondents in the youngest age category report a relatively high use of debt financing. This is explained by the provision of firm owners’ personal assets to secure firm debt. Originality/value - The key contribution of this paper is to provide an empirical examination of the financial growth life cycle model by combining a number of statistical tests. This approach is significantly different to that traditionally adopted in empirical investigations of SME financing, which is to examine the applicability of theories developed in corporate finance on panel data. Additionally, it presents data on personal sources of finance employed by firm owners, which is typically not available, even in comprehensive secondary databases.
Keyword(s): Finance; Economics
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Publisher(s): Emerald
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):,
First Indexed: 2015-10-14 05:05:54 Last Updated: 2018-10-27 06:21:51