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What Determines the Speed of Adjustment to the Target Capital Structure?

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  • Wolfgang Drobetz
  • Gabrielle Wanzenried

Abstract

We use a dynamic adjustment model and panel methodology to investigate the determinants of a time-varying optimal capital structure. Because firms may temporarily deviate from their optimal capital structure in the presence of adjustment costs, we also endogenize the adjustment process. In particular, we analyze the effects of firm-specific characteristics as well as macroeconomic factors on the speed of adjustment to the target leverage. Our sample comprises a panel of 90 Swiss firms over the years 1991 to 2001. We find that faster growing firms and those that are further away from their optimal capital structure adjust more readily. Our results also reveal interesting interrelations between the adjustment speed and popular business cycle variables. For example, the speed of adjustment is higher when the term spread is higher, i.e., when economic prospects are good

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Drobetz & Gabrielle Wanzenried, 2004. "What Determines the Speed of Adjustment to the Target Capital Structure?," Diskussionsschriften dp0415, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  • Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0415
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    Cited by:

    1. Hackbarth, Dirk & Miao, Jianjun & Morellec, Erwan, 2006. "Capital structure, credit risk, and macroeconomic conditions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 519-550, December.
    2. Wolfgang Drobetz & Pascal Pensa & Claudia B. Wöhle, 2004. "Kapitalstrukturtheorie in Theorie und Praxis: Ergebnisse einer Fragebogenuntersuchung," Working papers 2004/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; dynamic adjustment; business cycle; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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