Title: Pecking Order Theory of Capital Structure: Empirical Evidences for Listed SMEs in India

Authors: Kuldeep Singh, Deepa Pillai, Shailesh Rastogi
Journal: Vision – The Journal of Business Perspective
Publication date: 16-10-2021
Publisher: Sage Publication
URL: click here


The purpose of our study is to empirically examine the relevance of pecking order theory (POT) in explaining the capital structure choices made by the listed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging capital markets. To do so, we use panel data regression on five years of data from 2015 to 2019 of 82 listed SMEs in India. In pursuit of robust results to test the theory, the study uses three econometric models: pooled ordinary least squares (pooled OLS), fixed effects (FE) regression and two-stage least squares (2SLS). Profitability, liquidity, growth, tangibility and non-debt tax shield are the independent variables, size is the controlled variable and financial leverage is the dependent variable. The pooled OLS and FE models provide biased estimates due to the presence of endogeneity. The 2SLS estimates overcome endogeneity in the explanatory variable non-debt tax shield by using tangibility as an instrument. The 2SLS provides a substantial improvement over pooled OLS and FE results. The results indicate that the explanatory variables, namely, profitability, liquidity, non-debt tax shield and size, support the POT. However, the growth and tangibility do not support the POT for listed SMEs. Overall, the results of our study are inclined towards the POT, suggesting that ease of access takes priority in financing decisions by SMEs. Careful consideration of country-specific factors will allow the results to be generalized to other emerging capital markets.