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Title: Does capital structure matter? Reflection on capital structure irrelevance theory: Modigliani-Miller theorem (MM 1958)

Authors: Noura Al-Kahtani; Mohamed Al-Eraij

Addresses: King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Financial Affairs, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia ' King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Financial Affairs, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: Since the 1950s, corporate financing has been an arena for on-going debates that focus on Modigliani and Miller's pioneering theorems of 1958 and 1963. The main purpose of this paper is to present a critical reflection on the debate around corporate capital structure irrelevance that was triggered by Modigliani and Miller theorem in 1958, while taking in consideration the literature, theoretical and empirical findings and the recent global financial crisis (i.e. debt crisis). The paper will briefly review and discuss alternative theories of capital structure, such as the traditional view, the trade-off theory and the pecking order theory in light of reality and perfect capital market hypothesis. The paper starts by defining the concept of capital structure, followed by discussing the assumptions of perfect capital markets under which 'the Modigliani and Miller's irrelevance theory' was originally conceptualised. It finally reflects on the findings before proceeding with the paper's conclusion.

Keywords: capital structure; capital structure irrelevance theory; Modigliani and Miller theorem; traditional view; trade-off theory; pecking order theory; leverage; gearing; debt; global financial crisis; debt crisis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSM.2018.089918

International Journal of Financial Services Management, 2018 Vol.9 No.1, pp.39 - 46

Accepted: 26 Jan 2017
Published online: 09 Feb 2018 *

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