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Using 10-K Text to Gauge Financial Constraints

  • Andriy Bodnaruk (a1), Tim Loughran (a2) and Bill McDonald (a3)


Measuring the extent to which a firm is financially constrained is critical in assessing capital structure. Extant measures of financial constraints focus on macro firm characteristics such as age and size, variables highly correlated with other firm attributes. We parse 10-K disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) using a unique lexicon based on constraining words. We find that the frequency of constraining words exhibits very low correlation with traditional measures of financial constraints and predicts subsequent liquidity events, such as dividend omissions or increases, equity recycling, and underfunded pensions, better than widely used financial constraint indexes.


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Using 10-K Text to Gauge Financial Constraints

  • Andriy Bodnaruk (a1), Tim Loughran (a2) and Bill McDonald (a3)


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