DOI: 10.1111/acfi.13163 ISSN:

CEO turnovers and capital structure persistence

Viktoriya Staneva
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Finance
  • Accounting


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 chief executive officer (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.

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