Reconciling divergent findings on the speed of leverage adjustment
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Estimates of firms’ speeds of leverage adjustment (SOAs) vary wildly. Studies producing these estimates impose a strong constraint: An average SOAis estimated for all firms in a sample. Using finite mixture models (FMM) we uncover four distinct types of behaviors characterizing SOAs. The four behaviors in this regard can be classified as: Nearly stable (SOA= 2%); slower adjusters(SOA= 28%);faster adjusters(SOA= 62%) and drifters (SOA= -3%) who slowly move away from estimated leverage targets.
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