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Firms' Leverage and Export Quality: Evidence from France

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  • Michele Bernini
  • Sarah Guillou
  • Flora Bellone

Abstract

Is corporate financial structure a determinant of non-price competitiveness in export markets? 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 contribution 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 enhances 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 that debt financing hampers the incentive to undertake quality upgrading investments.

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File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2013-29.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in its series GREDEG Working Papers with number 2013-29.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2013-29

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Keywords: Export; output quality; leverage;

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  1. Xavier Boutin & Giacinta Cestone & Chiara Fumagalli & Giovanni Pica & Nicolas Serrano-Velarde, 2009. "The Deep-Pocket Effect of Internal Capital Markets," 2009 Meeting Papers 1070, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  3. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
  4. Askenazy, Philippe & Caldera, Aida & Gaulier, Guillaume & Irac, Delphine, 2011. "Financial Constraints and Foreign Market Entries or Exits: Firm Level Evidence from France," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1112, CEPREMAP.
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  6. Haichao Fan & Edwin L.-C. Lai & Yao Amber Li, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Quality, and Export Prices: Theory and Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 4370, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Amit Khandelwal, 2009. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," NBER Working Papers 15178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "Financial Constraints and Firm Export Behavior," Department of Economics Working Papers 0816, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  12. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1971. "Price Competitiveness in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krav71-1, May.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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