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An empirical investigation of the financial growth life cycle

Mac an Bhaird, Ciarán orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-2863-3398 and Lucey, Brian orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-4052-8235 (2011) An empirical investigation of the financial growth life cycle. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 18 (4). pp. 715-731. ISSN 1462-6004

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.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Financial growth life cycle; Capital structure; Pecking order theory; Agency theory; Small and medium sized enterprises
Subjects:Business > Finance
Business > Economics
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14626001111179767
Copyright Information:© 2015 Emerald
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:20857
Deposited On:13 Oct 2015 09:56 by Ciarán Mac An bhaird . Last Modified 23 Sep 2020 16:20

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