Economic policy uncertainty and capital structure choice: Evidence from China

Guangli Zhang, Jianlei Han*, Zheyao Pan, Haozhi Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies how economic policy uncertainty affects corporate capital structure for Chinese listed firms from 2003 to 2013. We show that as the degree of economic policy uncertainty increases, firms tend to lower their leverage ratios. However, firms that are from regions with lower degrees of marketization, are state-owned or have prior bank-firm relationships mitigate the negative effect of policy uncertainty. Moreover, we provide consistent evidence that this negative effect is sourced from the deterioration of the external financing environment. We also find that firms adjust their financing structures by using more trade credit when economic policy uncertainty increases. Our results are robust to sample selection, data frequency, model specification and endogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-457
Number of pages19
JournalEconomic Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Capital structure
  • China
  • Economic policy uncertainty
  • Trade credit


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