Impact of Judicial Efficiency on Debt Maturity Structure: Evidence from Judicial Districts of Pakistan.

JEL Classification : G10, G21, G32
Publication Year : 2011

The debate over =why capital and bond markets remain under-developed in Pakistan‘ is more than two decades old. Several conceptual papers have highlighted causes responsible for the underdevelopment of these markets; however, not enough empirical evidence exists to support the theoretical claims. This paper tries to fill in this gap. Specifically, this paper draws on the recent developments in the area of law and finance to develop several hypotheses related to maturity of corporate debt and judicial efficiency. These hypotheses are tested using data of 370 firms listed at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) and 27 districts high courts of Pakistan over the period 2000 to 2006. Results indicate that corporate debt-maturity decreases with the inefficiency of judiciary. Furthermore, results show that worsening judicial efficiency has greater negative effect on debt-maturity of small firms than on debt-maturity of large firms. Similarly, worsening judicial efficiency negatively affects debt-maturity ratios of firms with fewer tangible assets than debt-maturity ratio of firms with more tangible assets.