CEO Turnovers and Capital Structure Persistence

Academic Article


  • Firm fixed effects in panel leverage regressions act as a noisy proxy for managerial effects that drive persistence in leverage. Firms that do not change their CEO for prolonged periods of time are more likely to keep debt ratios within a narrow bandwidth and to display persistent differences in their time-series averages for up to 20 years. A CEO turnover is associated with considerable modifications to the financing policy of the firm. Significant capital structure changes take place immediately after a new executive takes office and leverage ratios remain relatively stable for the remaining tenure of the CEO.