Firm Performance, Financial Constraints, and Dual-Class Share Structure
This thesis addresses two aspects of financial constraints focusing, firstly, on the impact of financial constraints on firm performance and, secondly, on the impact of dual-class share structure on financial constraints. The first issue has been addressed in a large number of research studies, but the results are mixed. This study, therefore, conducts a meta-analysis of those earlier studies to provide a summary view of the results which, in contrast to narrative reviews of the empirical literature, provides an objective overview. The second issue examines the impact of dual-class share structures on financial constraints. The period of the global financial crisis is used to test the impact of the state of the economy on that relationship. To examine the impact of financial constraints on firm performance, 26 empirical studies with 189 effect sizes representing listed firms have been analysed. The study finds that overall there is a positive relationship between financial constraints and firm performance. The study also shows that the set of market-based measures of firm performance has a significant negative impact on the relationship, compared with the set of accounting-based measures. In terms of the financial constraints measure, the set of external financial constraints measures have a positive and highly significant impact on the relationship. The meta-regression analysis suggests that the choice of measure, regional difference, journal quality and publication status all have a significant impact on the relationship, and explain the variation in the association.
To examine the impact of dual-class share structures on financial constraints the study analyses a sample of non-financial US firms over the period 2002-2018. Share structure is measured by the existence of a dual-class structure and also by excess voting rights and the proximity of the superior class shareholders in such structures. The study also shows that if financial constraints are measured by the WW index, irrespective of how dual-class share structure is measured, it increases the level of financial constraints. Similar results are obtained where financial constraints are measured by the KZ and SA indexes, except where dual-class share structure is measured by the proximity of superior class shareholders. The study also finds that if financial constraints are measured by the WW index, dual-class had a reduced impact during the period of the global financial crisis, thus, providing support for the propping theory. However, if financial constraint is measured by the SA index, dual-class share structure appears to have an increased impact during the GFC years.
Among the additional tests, the HM index has been used as a measure of financial constraints, and the findings show that the impact of dual-class structures on financial constraints appears to be driven by their effect on debt constraints. The study also shows that firm age moderates the impact of dual-class share structures if financial constraints are measured by the WW index. The KZ, WW, and SA indexes are based on firm characteristics and, therefore, the study also tests for an impact of dual-class structures when financial constraint is measured by a text-based index, the BLM index. However, the results do not provide evidence of an impact in that case.