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Using a sample of public bonds issued by privately-owned and publicly-owned companies we find that, after controlling for financial fundamentals and information environment effects, the cost of public debt issued by privately-owned companies as captured by ratings and yield spreads is significantly higher than that issued by publicly-owned companies. This higher cost, however, is justified, but only in part, by higher than expected actual rates of default among privatelyowned firms. Amongdoi:10.1287/mnsc.2017.2935 fatcat:baikhhca4fbybiimslmcsvei5y