Keywords: Capital Structure; Corporate Finance; Leverage Model; Fixed Effect Panel.
Based on a large firm sample covering the 2001-2013 years, this paper investigates the capital structure of Southern SMEs. The aim is to analyse the capital structure of the firms based in the Mezzogiorno, that is areas subject to slower economic and social growthrates,in order to show the distinctive features compared to the firms of more developed regions of the country. We prove that some significant differences in the regional leverage models are persistent, but that in the period analysed the effects arising from regional differences are mitigated. An increasing homogeneity of regional leverage models makes the constraints to the access to credit markets for Southern SMEs more tightening.