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Information Aggregation through Stock Prices and the Cost of Capital

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This paper studies a firm's optimal capital structure in an environment where the firm's stock price serves as a public signal for its default risk. In equilibrium, the number of traders who find it profitable to trade the firm's stock increases as the firm issues more equity. In turn, the precision with which the stock price communicates the firm's fundamental to bond investors increases in the number of equity investors. Thus, through its capital structure, firms can internalize the informational externality that stock prices exert on bond yields. Strong firms therefore issue equity to reduce borrowing costs. (JEL: C72, D53, G32)
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Keywords: capital cost; information aggregation; market depth; sequential markets

Appeared or available online: Fri Jul 28 11:15:00 UTC 2017

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