Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies
Vol. 25(01) , April 2018, Page 109-121


Does information asymmetry lead to higher debt financing? Evidence from China during the NTS Reform period
Wenzhou Qu & Udomsak Wongchoti & Fei Wu & Yanming Chen

Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test an implication of the pecking order theory to explain capital structure decisions among Chinese listed companies during the 2005-2007 NTS Reform transition period. Design/methodology/approach – The authors utilize direct proxies for information asymmetry based on microstructure models including Probability of the arrival of informed trades (PIN), Adverse selection component of the bid-ask spread (λ), Illiquidity ratio (ILLIQ) and liquidity ratio, and Information asymmetry index (InfoAsy) to examine their relation with firms’ debt financing. Findings – Consistent with the prediction of Pecking Order Theory, the authors find that companies for which stock investors are challenged with more severe informational disadvantages are associated with higher degree of leverage use. Originality/value – The study provides a more direct test on the positive relation between information asymmetry and financial leverage of Chinese firms. In contrast to previous findings by Chen (2004), the results suggest that capital structure choices among Chinese firms progressively conform to conventional finance theories (e.g. Pecking Order Theory) with the decline of non-tradable shares.

Keywords
Pecking order, Capital structure, Asymmetric information, Chinese market NTS Reform
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