The Puzzle of Zero Debt Capital Structure in Emerging Capital Markets
This study investigates the puzzle of zero-debt in emerging markets using a sample of firms from Eastern Europe during 2000-2013. The results of this paper are in line with the previous research of firms from developed markets. Firms that are financially constrained do not use debt as a result of credit rationing while financially unconstrained firms intentionally eschew debt to maintain financial flexibility and avoid underinvestment incentives. Furthermore, this study provides new insights into unconstrained firms’ performance during different economic situations. Firms that strategically avoid debt show better financial results than levered firms.