An Empirical Investigation of German Firms' Financial Structure and Ensuing Risks
This paper focuses on the question whether West German firms have experienced an increase in their financial risk position with due implications for the macroeconomy. The investigation is based on a special evaluation of the balance sheet statistics by the Deutsche Bundesbank broken down into firm size and legal form. Empirical findings suggest that owing to positive trends of various financial ratios, above all small and medium sized firms have been exposed to significantly higher risks in the time period 1987-1996. Further tests reveal that for this firms' size investment and financial risk are negatively correlated. Considering the macroeconomic significance of small and medium sized enterprises, these empirical findings bear serious risks for growth, employment and the effectiveness of monetary policy.
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Volume (Year): 221 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5-6 ()
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