This is a call for papers for a special issue of Research in International Business and Finance focused on behavioral explanations for the use of outside financing by business firms.  This topic has assumed great importance following the global financial crises of 2007-2008 and the great recession that followed.  One of the major causes of these events has been traced to the high leverage employed.  However, there have been wide international variations in the leverages employed and in the outside financing used by entities in various countries and not all countries suffered equally in these crises. This special issue will focus on the international differences in outside financing and financial leverages used by businesses and possible explanations for these international differences.

Traditionally, research on the capital structure of firms has focused on the impact of firm-level variables to assess the relative strength of the pecking order theory versus the trade-off theory and other theories. However, it seems outcomes in finance, including capital structure and financing decisions, are shaped by laws and institutions that result from nations’ culture and history. Thus, there has been much interest in how international differences in risk attitudes and other national social and institutional characteristics influence the availability of external finance and the capital structure of firms. Recent research has begun to examine the influence of such factors as national culture, social trust, legal origins, bankruptcy laws, disclosure environments, governance, employment rights, and other national behavioral characteristics on the capital structures of firms.

Additionally, since traditional research on capital structure and financing sources has focused on non-financial firms, we also invite papers focused on financial and/or service firms. We feel the capital structure of financial firms is of particularly timely relevance as nations recover from the recent financial crisis and consider the impact of financing restrictions of banks.

Papers that use new and or novel empirical methodologies to examine topical issues using extensive cross-sectional and time-series international data sets are particularly welcome.  We are also interested in behavioral explanations that are backed up by adequate empirical analysis.

In order to enhance the fit of a manuscript with the goals of the special issue, potential authors are invited to submit and receive feedback on a three page summary of the proposed paper as early as possible. 

Journal information and author guidelines can be accessed at

Please send your manuscripts and other inquiries to the attention of the special issue editors: 

Raj Aggarwal and John Goodell at:;

Journal information and author guidelines can be accessed at:

The deadline for submission of completed manuscripts is July 30, 2012.  We look forward to your submissions to this special issue of the RIBAF.