Recent research has examined asymmetries in firms’ adjustments toward target leverage. Assuming firms mainly adjust their debt levels, Byoun (2008) finds that firms adjusting most quickly possess two important characteristics: above-target debt and a financing surplus. Using alternative models allowing for adjustments in both debt and total assets, we still find evidence of asymmetries in leverage adjustments, but that firms adjusting fastest have above-target leverage and a financing deficit. Our paper shows how alternative assumptions about leverage dynamics may lead to different conclusions about target adjustment behavior.
- Capital structure; Dynamic trade-off theory; Partial adjustment model; Asymmetric adjustment; Model specification