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WHAT DETERMINANTS AFFECT THE CAPITAL STRUCTURE OF CONSUMER CO‐OPERATIVES? THE CASE OF iCOOP KOREA

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The capital structure of co‐operatives can differ from that of IOB (Investor‐Owned Businesses) since the two organizations differ in their aims, governance structures and decision‐making principles. This paper examines whether the determinants verified in IOB affect the leverage ratio of consumer co‐operatives. Consumer co‐operatives in South Korea have been rapidly growing during the last decade. There are two leading theories in finance that explain capital structure: the trade‐off and pecking order theories. Focusing on consumer co‐operatives in South Korea, the paper aims to analyze empirically what determinants have effect on the capital structure of consumer co‐operatives and which of the two theories is more plausible. This study reveals that profitability and firm size have a significantly negative effect on leverage while tangibility and growth have a significantly positive effect on it. In conclusion, it seems that neither of the theories above perfectly accounts for the capital structure of consumer co‐operatives because of the differences in governance characteristics between consumer co‐operatives and IOB as well as in the costs of bankruptcy, agency, informational asymmetry and securities issuance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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