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Is debt overhang causing firms to underinvest?


  • Occhino, Filippo


Many economists have suggested that the weakness of corporate balance sheets is constraining business spending and investment, and that this in turn is impeding growth and the recovery. High levels of debt can depress spending and investment through several channels. This Commentary explains one of them—debt overhang can cause firms to underinvest—and points to ways in which this effect might be inhibiting the recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Occhino, Filippo, 2010. "Is debt overhang causing firms to underinvest?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jul.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcec:y:2010:i:jul20:n:2010-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Branch, Gregory F., 2007. "Charter school quality and parental decision making with school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 823-848, June.
    3. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yan Liu & Christoph B. Rosenberg, 2013. "Dealing with Private Debt Distress in the Wake of the European Financial Crisis A Review of the Economics and Legal Toolbox," IMF Working Papers 13/44, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Satyajit Chatterjee, 2013. "Debt overhang: why recovery from a financial crisis can be slow," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 1-9.
    3. George M. von Furstenberg, 2011. "Concocting Marketable Cocos," Working Papers 222011, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.

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    Corporations - Finance; Debt;


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