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Corporate balance sheet adjustment: stylized facts, causes and consequences

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  • Eric Ruscher
  • Guntram Wolff

Abstract

Using national account data, we define corporate balance sheet adjustment episodes as periods during which major increases in non-financial corporations' net lending/borrowing are experienced. An analysis of such episodes in Germany and Japan, and a more systematic exploration of a sample of 30 countries, show that corporate balance sheet adjustment tends to be long lasting and associated with significant effects on current accounts, wages and investment. The adjustment is generally achieved by reducing investment and increasing savings on the back of a falling wage share. A panel econometric exercise shows that balance sheet adjustment periods are triggered by macroeconomic downturns as well as balance sheet stress due to high debt, low liquidity and negative equity price shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Ruscher & Guntram Wolff, 2012. "Corporate balance sheet adjustment: stylized facts, causes and consequences," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 449, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0449
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Kollmann & Marco Ratto & Werner Roeger & Jan in't Veld & Lukas Vogel, 2015. "What drives the German current account? And how does it affect other EU Member States?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(81), pages 47-93.
    2. Cuerpo, Carlos & Drumond, Inês & Lendvai, Julia & Pontuch, Peter & Raciborski, Rafal, 2015. "Private sector deleveraging in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 372-383.
    3. Lucia Granelli & Martin Habet & Guergana Stanoeva & Gaetano D’Adamo & Robert Gampfer, 2020. "Puzzles in Non-Financial Corporate Sector Savings across the G20," European Economy - Economic Briefs 063, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Daniel Garrote & Jimena Llopis & Javier Vallés, 2013. "Los canales del desapalancamiento del sector privado: una comparación internacional," Boletín Económico, Banco de España, issue NOV, pages 1-12, Noviembre.
    5. Zsolt Darvas, 2012. "The euro crisis- ten roots, but fewer solutions," Policy Contributions 755, Bruegel.
    6. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2018. "Nonfinancial debt and economic growth in euro-area countries," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 17-37.
    7. Luiza Antoun de Almeida, 2015. "A Network Analysis of Sectoral Accounts; Identifying Sectoral Interlinkages in G-4 Economies," IMF Working Papers 2015/111, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Georgios Magkonis & Anastasia Theofilakou, 2019. "Transmission of sectoral debt shocks in OECD countries: Evidence from the income channel," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2019-02, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.
    9. Szilágyi, Katalin & Kiss, Áron, 2014. "Miért más ez a válság, mint a többi?. Az adósságleépítés szerepe a nagy recesszióban [Why is this crisis different?. The role of deleveraging in the great recession]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 949-974.
    10. Cussen, Mary & O'Leary, Brídín, 2013. "Why are Irish Non-Financial Corporations so Indebted?," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 104-118, January.
    11. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 2015. "Zukunftsfähigkeit in den Mittelpunkt. Jahresgutachten 2015/16," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201516.
    12. Giordano, Claire & Marinucci, Marco & Silvestrini, Andrea, 2019. "The macro determinants of firms' and households' investment: Evidence from Italy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 118-133.
    13. Barbosa, Diogo & Carvalho, Vitor M. & Pereira, Paulo J., 2016. "Public stimulus for private investment: An extended real options model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 742-748.
    14. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2012. "Debt and Macroeconomic Stability: An Overview of the Literature and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1006, OECD Publishing.

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    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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