Investment opportunities and leverage: some Australian evidence on the role of board monitoring and director equity ownership

Hutchinson, Marion R. & Gul, Ferdinand A. (2002) Investment opportunities and leverage: some Australian evidence on the role of board monitoring and director equity ownership. Managerial Finance, 28(3), pp. 19-36.

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This paper tests the hypothesis that the negative relationship between investment opportunity set (IOS) and debt is moderated by board monitoring and director equity ownership. According to contracting theory, firms with high growth opportunities (high IOS) are associated with lower levels of debt as a result of the asset substitution and the under-investment problem. However, our hypotheses test the conjecture that the negative debt / IOS relationship will be moderated by the proportion of non-executive directors (NEDs) on the board and director equity ownership. NEDs provide higher monitoring which reduces management discretion while director equity ownership provides incentives for managers to maximize the value of the firm. More specifically, we expect that high growth firms with a higher proportion of non-executive directors and director equity ownership are less likely to be associated with asset substitution and under investment. Thus, the negative investment opportunity set / debt relationship will be weaker for firms with higher levels of non-executive directors and high director equity ownership. Data collected from Australian companies support both these two hypotheses. Results have significant implications for corporate finance theory.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 13324
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Investment opportunities, board monitoring, share ownership, debt structure
DOI: 10.1108/03074350210767717
ISSN: 0307-4388
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Emerald
Deposited On: 16 Apr 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 14:25

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