Aaron Brauner

Doctoral Candidate in Finance

Prior to entering the Ph.D. program in Finance at the University of Florida, Aaron received a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Delaware. He then pursued a Master’s degree in Economics while performing cost modeling research for the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware. His current research interests include international finance, financial economics, and corporate finance.


Cross-country Evidence on Capital Market Development, Institutions, and Firm Peer Effects in Corporate Financial Policy


Scientific research.

This paper provides cross-country evidence on the extent to which peer firms affect corporate capital structure decisions and the influence of a country’s financial market development and country risk environment on firm peer effects. We find that peer firms play an important role in determining corporate capital structures and financial policies at the global and regional level. At the country level, firm peer effects are diminished and primarily observed in advanced economies with developed financial markets. Importantly, the cross-sectional variation in peer firms’ role in corporate capital structures is determined by variation in capital market development, legal protections for investors, and political risk across countries.

This paper documents that intentional increases in leverage beyond estimated long run targets, through large debt issuances, is a pervasive financing pattern used by firms around the world. These funds are primarily used to increase investments and working capital rather than make large payouts to shareholders. Subsequent debt reductions are neither rapid nor indicative of attempts to rebalance toward an estimated target leverage ratio; debt reductions are instead determined by the realization of a financial surplus. This is consistent with a capital structure theory emphasizing debt capacity and financial flexibility, rather than a target leverage ratio, in corporate financial decisions.

The passage of regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Rule 12h-6 had an effect on foreign firms’ decision to delist from US stock exchanges. There is an exodus of firms from developed economies that realized little benefit from the stronger corporate governance regime. The effect is transitory and dissipates over time. There is no impact on the pattern of firms’ listing and delisting from emerging markets whom this regulation benefitted.



Semester: Fall 2013

Download Syllabus

FIN 4504 provides an in-depth discussion of fundamental principles related to equity securities and derivatives for both institutional and individual investors. Objectives of this class include understanding
a)How securities markets function and the types of securities available to investors
b)Factors that influence a stock’s rate of return
c)Key concepts of portfolio theory and how to develop investment strategies

The primary focus of this course centers on personal financial decisions related to picking stocks and/or equity mutual funds. With the general trend towards defined contribution pension plans in the U.S., most of us will be forced to choose from an array of investments including stocks, bonds, money market funds, and mutual funds. As we move through the material in this course, it’s a good idea to ask yourself: “How would what we are talking about in class affect my real-world investment portfolio?”