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Insolvency and economic development: Regional variation and adjustment

  • Fabling, Richard
  • Grimes, Arthur

This paper examines the determinants of the rate of forced insolvency in New Zealand. The study incorporates two key features. First, we use regional as well as national data to explain insolvencies. The data cover six regions which have had a variety of economic experiences over the sample period (1988-2003). Second, we explain the total rate of forced insolvency in New Zealand, including both personal bankruptcies and involuntary company liquidations. We find that increases in regional economic activity and regional property values (the latter representing collateral effects) reduce regional insolvencies. An increase in credit provision (increased leverage) raises the rate of insolvencies. In a low-inflation environment, a rise in the inflation rate reduces insolvencies, but this effect disappears in a high-inflation environment. We show that interactions between economic activity, leverage and property price shocks provide a rich understanding of how region-specific shocks can compound into significant localised economic cycles.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economics and Business.

Volume (Year): 57 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 339-359

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jebusi:v:57:y:2005:i:4:p:339-359
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconbus

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  1. Fabling, Richard & Grimes , Arthur, 2006. "Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success," Occasional Papers 06/1, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  2. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114, February.
  3. Jean Imbs & Haroon Mumtaz & Morten Ravn & Hélène Rey, 2005. "PPP Strikes Back: Aggregation and the Real Exchange Rate," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 1-43, January.
  4. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  5. Wadhwani, Sushil B, 1986. "Inflation, Bankruptcy, Default Premia and the Stock Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 120-38, March.
  6. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  7. Arthur Grimes & Suzi Kerr & Andrew Aitken, 2003. "Housing and Economic Adjustment," Urban/Regional 0310006, EconWPA.
  8. Gertjan W. Vlieghe, 2001. "Indicators of fragility in the UK corporate sector," Bank of England working papers 146, Bank of England.
  9. Lewis Evans & Arthur Grimes & Bryce Wilkinson, 1996. "Economic Reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The Pursuit of Efficiency," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1856-1902, December.
  10. Platt, Harlan D. & Platt, Marjorie B., 1994. "Business cycle effects on state corporate failure rates," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 113-127, May.
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