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Financial constraints and investment in France and Spain: a comparison using firm level data

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  • Ignacio Hernando

    ()
    (Banco de España)

  • André Tiomo

    ()
    (Banque de France)

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    Abstract

    This paper analyses corporate investment decisions in France and Spain, focusing on the role of financial constraints in explaining investment behaviour. For this purpose, we take advantage of very carefully harmonised data sets that allow for the use of variables homogeneously defined in both countries. The information used consists of two panel data sets of industry firms selected from those reporting information to the Central Balance Sheet Offices of the Banque de France and of the Banco de España over the period 1991-1999. So as to test for the existence of liquidity constraints, we conduct a test of excess sensitivity of investment to cash flow using a standard Euler equation model. More precisely, both the theoretical model and the testing strategy used in this paper closely follow Bond and Meghir (1994). These authors present an empirical model of investment based on the Euler equation of an extended version of the standard neoclassical model of investment. This model assumes that the firm faces a hierarchy of costs for the alternative sources of finance and leads to different characterisations of investment behaviour for firms pursuing different financial policies. Overall, our results suggest that there are significant differences in investment behaviour which are closely linked to the financial situation of firms. In particular, the evidence found is consistent with the investment expenditure of firms paying zero dividends being constrained by the availability of internally generated funds.

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    File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/02/Fic/dt0214e.pdf
    File Function: First version, July 2002
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 0214.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0214

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    1. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Stephen Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Investment, R&D and Financial Constraints in Britain and Germany," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 433-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    4. Calomiris, Charles W & Hubbard, R Glenn, 1990. "Firm Heterogeneity, Internal Finance, and 'Credit Rationing.'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 90-104, March.
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    6. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mulkay, Benoit, 1998. "Firm Level Investment in France and the United States: An Exploration of What We Have Learned in Twenty Years," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5tp4r5nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1998. "Investment, Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Working Papers 6652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Valderrama, Maria Teresa, 2001. "Credit channel and investment behaviour in Austria: a micro-econometric approach," Working Paper Series 0108, European Central Bank.
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    23. von Kalckreuth, Ulf, 2002. "Monetary Transmission in Germany: New Perspectives on Financial Constraints and Investment Spending," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 179, Royal Economic Society.
    24. Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    25. Stephen Bond & Julie Ann Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Benoît Mulkay, 1999. "Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK : A Comparison using Company Panel Data," Working Papers 99-64, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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    Cited by:
    1. Escribá, F. Javier & Murgui, Ma. José, 2009. "Government policy and industrial investment determinants in Spanish regions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 479-488, July.

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