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Extricate: Financial Pressure and Firm Behaviour in Spain

  • Andrew Benito

    ()

    (Banco de España)

  • Ignacio Hernando

    ()

    (Banco de España)

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.

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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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Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 0227.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0227
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  1. Sharpe, Steven A, 1994. "Financial Market Imperfections, Firm Leverage, and the Cyclicality of Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1060-74, September.
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  4. Andrew Benito & Garry Young, 2001. "Hard Times or Great Expectations?: Dividend omissions and dividend cuts by UK firms," Bank of England working papers 147, Bank of England.
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  9. Andrew Benito & Garry Young, 2002. "Financial Pressure and Balance Sheet Adjustment by UK Firms," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0209, Banco de Espa�a.
  10. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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  13. Ramey, Valerie A. & West, Kenneth D., 1999. "Inventories," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 863-923 Elsevier.
  14. Alessandra Guariglia, . "The Effects of Financial Constraints on Inventory Investment: Evidence from a Panel of UK Firms," Economics Discussion Papers 462, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  15. Juan J Dolado & Carlos Garcia--Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, 2002. "Drawing Lessons From The Boom Of Temporary Jobs In Spain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(721), pages F270-F295, June.
  16. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Arulampalam, W., 1998. "A Note on Estimated Coefficients in Random Effects Probit Models," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 520, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  18. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  19. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
  20. Ben S. Bernanke & John Y. Campbell, 1988. "Is There a Corporate Debt Crisis?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 83-140.
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