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Extricate: Financial Pressure and Firm Behaviour in Spain

Author

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  • Andrew Benito

    () (Banco de España)

  • Ignacio Hernando

    () (Banco de España)

Abstract

This paper examines financial pressure facing Spanish companies. A number of stylised facts regarding the financial performance and financing decisions of Spanish firms are first presented for the period 1985-2000 using repeated annual cross-sections of around 5,000 manufacturing and retail firms. (i) In periods of general financial fragility, most notably during the recession of 1993, the experience of the most financially vulnerable companies is even more distressed than movements in aggregate or average figures would suggest (ii) the burden of borrowing costs has declined for most companies in the mid-/late-1990s, but particularly for those at the top of the distribution (iii) the cross-sectional distribution of indebtedness across firms has remained remarkably stable but (iv) this conceals significant variation in debt ratios for individual firms. Using panel data methods, the effects of financial pressure associated with servicing debt on a number of aspects of corporate behaviour are then examined, namely fixed investment, employment (both permanent and temporary), inventories and dividend policies. Our results quantify the responsiveness of each of these responses to financial pressure experienced by firms in Spain. Quantitatively large effects of financial pressure on investment and employment are estimated, although these work through more quickly in the case of fixed investment. The effects on employment are found to be larger and work through more quickly in the case of temporary than permanent employment. We also find significant effects on inventory investment and dividend payments confirming these additional mechanisms of adjustment by companies in Spain in resp onse to financial pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Benito & Ignacio Hernando, 2002. "Extricate: Financial Pressure and Firm Behaviour in Spain," Working Papers 0227, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0227
    as

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    File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/02/Fic/dt0227e.pdf
    File Function: First version, November 2002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hernando, Ignacio & Martínez-Carrascal, Carmen, 2008. "The impact of financial variables on firms' real decisions: Evidence from Spanish firm-level data," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 543-561, March.
    2. Paloma López-García & José Manuel Montero & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2012. "Business cycles and investment in intangibles: evidence from Spanish firms," Working Papers 1219, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    3. Galindo, Arturo & Izquierdo, Alejandro & Montero, Jose Manuel, 2007. "Real exchange rates, dollarization and industrial employment in Latin America," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 284-298, December.
    4. López Martín, Mª Del Carmen & Rodero Franganillo, Adolfo, 2005. "Los activos de las instituciones de inversión colectiva de carácter financiero/Assets by Financial Institutions for Collective Investment," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 23, pages 93-124, Abril.
    5. Andrew Benito, 2003. "The capital structure decisions of firms: is there a pecking order?," Working Papers 0310, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.

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