Capital Structure Deviation and Speed of Adjustment
49 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 4, 2011
As a firm deviates from its target leverage, marginal bankruptcy costs change at a faster speed than marginal tax shield. This renders the speed of adjustment (SOA) of capital structure an increasing function of the starting deviation from the target. Adopting a bootstrapping-based estimation, we confirm the existence of such heterogeneity in SOA that is statistically significant and economically nontrivial. Typically, if Firm A is one standard deviation (about 17%) and Firm B is two standard deviations away from their leverage targets, then B’s SOA is 41% greater than that of A, and the half life of B’s leverage deviation is shorter by 2.5 years. The findings are consistent with the dynamic tradeoff theory in the presence of reasonable adjustment costs.
Keywords: Capital structure, Speed of adjustment, leverage deviation, heterogeneity, bootstrapping
JEL Classification: G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation