Ownership structure and the cost of corporate borrowing

Chen LIN, Yue MA, Paul MALATESTA, Yuhai XUAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

337 Citations (Scopus)


This article identifies an important channel through which excess control rights affect firm value. Using a new, hand-collected data set on corporate ownership and control of 3,468 firms in 22 countries during the 1996-2008 period, we find that the cost of debt financing is significantly higher for companies with a wider divergence between the largest ultimate owner's control rights and cash-flow rights and investigate factors that affect this relation. Our results suggest that potential tunneling and other moral hazard activities by large shareholders are facilitated by their excess control rights. These activities increase the monitoring costs and the credit risk faced by banks and, in turn, raise the cost of debt for the borrower.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Bank loans
  • Control-ownership wedge
  • Cost of debt
  • Excess control rights
  • Ownership structure

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