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FIRM INVESTMENT AND FINANCIAL CONDITIONS IN THE EURO AREA:

EVIDENCE FROM FIRM-LEVEL DATA

 

Hiona Balfoussia

Bank of Greece

 

Heather D. Gibson

Bank of Greece

 

 

Abstract

We explore whether the sensitivity of firm-level investment to cash-flow, typically associated with an external financing premium, is time-varying and in particular whether it varies with overall financial conditions. We find that financial conditions have indeed played a significant role in corporate investment decisions over recent years, rendering financing constraints even more binding. This finding appears to be robust to a number of control variables and robustness tests. Moreover, the impact of credit conditions is not uniform across firms, but rather it varies depending on firm size and leverage, with constrained firms being substantially more likely to condition their investment decisions on overall credit conditions. Our results cast new light on the interplay between financial and real cycle downturns and underline the need for monetary, fiscal and macroprudential policy to be countercyclical with respect to financial conditions.

Keywords: investment, financial conditions, euro area firms

JEL-Classification: E22, E44, E50

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Greece.

 

 

Correspondence:

Hiona Balfoussia,

Economic Analysis and Research Department,

Bank of Greece,

21 E. Venizelos Ave,

Athens 10250

email: hbalfoussia@bankofgreece.gr


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