Incidence and Costs of Pinhole Leak Corrosion and Corporate Cost of Capital Borrowing

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Virginia Tech

The first part of this doctorate dissertation examines the factors influencing the occurrence and costs of pinhole leak corrosion as well as the household decisions for corrosion prevention and plumbing material selection. Three mail surveys of households were used to elicit the experiences with leaks as well as the optimal corrosion prevention and material choices. Probability modeling (i.e. MNL) and linear regression analysis were used to analyze survey responses. Pinhole leak occurrences were found associated with pipe type installed, property age, pipe failure history, and dwelling distance from a water treatment plant. The number and location of pinhole leaks in the dwelling and the pipe type are associated with the financial costs of pinhole leaks. The corrosion prevention choices as well as the plumbing materials depended on the risk of corrosion and cost associated with each option. Previous experiences with pinhole leak impacted the decision for household choices. Faster responses to pinhole leak outbreaks by utility managers and policymakers in terms of advising homeowners on the best ways of responding to leaks would assist homeowners in reducing costs of pinhole leak repairs and associated damages.

The second part of this document deals with the debt financing issues. Debt financing decisions are made simultaneously by lenders and borrowers. Since lenders are unable to observe directly the firms’ investment decisions, the banks offer contracts based up on firms’ observable characteristics (i.e. wealth and size) and the prevailing market conditions. When deciding on the financing decisions, firms also take into account the changes in macroeconomic variables in order to lower the cost of borrowing. As a result, the goal for this article is to examine empirically the hypothesis of the effect of the debt determinant as well as the macroeconomic variables on the debt maturity structure. A reduced form of the simultaneous financing decisions model is estimated by employing several OLS estimation methods. The empirical findings offer strong support for firms with few growth options, large, and of low quality having more long-term debt in their capital structure. There was, however, no clear support for the impact of macroeconomic variables on debt maturity as some variables were not statistically significant.

Drinking Water, Debt Financing, Corrosion Detection and Control, Preference Elicitation Methodology (CA), Excess Bond Returns, Home Plumbing System