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Business Fixed Investment: Evidence of a Financial Accelerator in Europe

  • Vermeulen, Philip

Financial accelerator theories imply that weak balance sheets can amplify adverse shocks on firm investment. This effect should be asymmetric, stronger in downturns than in upturns and stronger for small firms than for large firms. This paper provides empirical evidence of the presence of a financial accelerator in the four largest euro area economies: Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Using annual firm balance sheet data over the period 1983 - 1997 it is shown that weak balance sheets are more important in explaining investment during downturns than during upturns. It is further shown that the effects of the accelerator are largest for small firms. JEL Classification: E22, E44

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 64 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 217-35

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:64:y:2002:i:3:p:217-35
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  1. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," NBER Working Papers 4789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1993. "The role of credit market imperfections in the monetary transmission mechanism: arguments and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Laura Rondi & Brian Sack & Fabio Schiantarelli & Alessandro Sembenelli, 1998. "Firms' Financial and Real Responses to Monetary Tightening: Evidence for Large and Small Italian Companies," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 57(1), pages 35-64, April.
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