Profitability and Debt Capital Decision: A Reconsideration of the Pecking Order Model

Sankay Oboh Collins, Adekoya Adeleke Clement, Adeyeye Ruth Funke


This paper tests for the adherence of firms in third world nations to the pecking-order model (POM) in
determining their debt level. We developed two econometric models to query the pecking-order model (POM) as
it applies to firms’ financing decision in emerging economies. Cross-sectional dataset was constructed from the
annual reports of 45 non-financial companies quoted on the Nigerian stock exchange in the year 2007. We
employed Binary Logistic regression and Ordinary least squares (OLS) estimation techniques to estimate our
models and to test the study hypotheses. Our results coherently reveal negative relationship between corporate
profitability and debt utilization, and corporate debt limit relates positively to firms’ tangibility and size. It
therefore suggests that the pecking-order model (POM) applies to firms in third world nations as to firms in
developed economies. Therefore, the possibility of a firm attaining an optimal capital structure remains a mirage.
Because this study has made used of both proxy and dummy variables, the usual caveats therefore apply.
Furthermore, the results are specific to only the sampled firms, thereby may lack generalizability to firms
outside the sampled firms. Researchers are encouraged to further extend the suggestions of this study.

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