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Firms leverage and export quality:evidence from France

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  • Michele Bernini

    ()
    (University of Trento,School of intenational Studies Italie)

  • Sarah Guillou

    ()
    (Ofce sciences-po)

  • Flora Bellone

    (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France)

Abstract

Is corporate financial structure a determinant of non-price competitiveness in export mar- kets? In this paper we provide a positive answer to this question by finding that among illiquid exporters leverage is negatively correlated with the quality of their exported goods.This result is obtained on a sample including over 120,000 export flows of 6,229 French firms exporting within six HS6 products categories. The main methodological contribu- tion of our study is the use of a flow-level measure of export quality obtained from the estimation of a structural model of demand Berry, 1994; this estimator enhance the validity of our approach by avoiding the drawbacks of proxying for quality using export prices, as it is common practice in the trade literature.We argue that the negative impact of leverage on quality is consistent with theoretical contributions in the financial literature predicting a negative impact of debt financing on firms’ incentive to undertake quality upgrading investments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2013-13.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:1313

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  1. Paulo Macas Nunes & Tiago Neves Sequeira & Zelia Serrasqueiro, 2007. "Firms' leverage and labour productivity: a quantile approach in Portuguese firms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(14), pages 1783-1788.
  2. Fan, Haichao & Lai, Edwin L.-C. & Li, Yao Amber, 2012. "Credit Constraints, Quality, and Export Prices: Theory and Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 40857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Amit Khandelwal, 2009. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," NBER Working Papers 15178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kugler, Maurice & Verhoogen, Eric A., 2009. "The Quality-Complementarity Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 7119, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Boutin, Xavier & Cestone, Giacinta & Fumagalli, Chiara & Pica, Giovanni & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas, 2013. "The deep-pocket effect of internal capital markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 122-145.
  6. Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2010. "BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version," Working Papers 2010-23, CEPII research center.
  7. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Stefano Schiavo, 2010. "Financial Constraints and Firm Export Behaviour," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 347-373, 03.
  8. Maksimovic, Vojislav & Titman, Sheridan, 1991. "Financial Policy and Reputation for Product Quality," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 175-200.
  9. Bastos, Paulo & Silva, Joana, 2010. "The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 99-111, November.
  10. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
  11. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  12. Askenazy, Ph. & Caldera, A. & Gaulier, G. & Irac, D., 2011. "Financial Constraints and Foreign Market Entries or Exits: Firm-Level Evidence from France," Working papers 328, Banque de France.
  13. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1971. "Price Competitiveness in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krav71-1, May.
  14. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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