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Modelling the Longitudinal Properties of Financial Ratios of European Firms


  • Stuart McLeay
  • Maxwell Stevenson


The use of financial ratios by analysts to compare the performance of firms from one accounting period to the next is of growing importance with continued European economic integration. Recent studies suggest that the individual component series of financial ratios exhibit nonstationarity which is not eliminated by the ratio transformation. In this paper, w e derive a generalised model that incorporates stochastic and deterministic trends and allows for restricted and unrestricted proportionate growth in the ratio numerator and denominator. When the individual firm series are included in a panel structure with large N and small T, we are unable to reject convincingly a joint hypothesis of nonstationarity, whilst in about one third of the individual firm panels there is no evidence of a unit root. Although the components of financial ratios are correlated variables, our estimates show that any cointegrating effects decay rapidly.

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  • Stuart McLeay & Maxwell Stevenson, 2006. "Modelling the Longitudinal Properties of Financial Ratios of European Firms," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp184, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp184
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Binder, Michael & Hsiao, Cheng & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2005. "Estimation And Inference In Short Panel Vector Autoregressions With Unit Roots And Cointegration," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(04), pages 795-837, August.
    2. Christos Ioannidis & David A. Peel & Michael J. Peel, 2003. "The Time Series Properties of Financial Ratios: Lev Revisited," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5-6), pages 699-714.
    3. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    4. Stuart McLeay, 1997. "Boundary Conditions for Ratios with Positively Distributed Components," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 67-84.
    5. David Ashton & Paul Dunmore & Mark Tippett, 2004. "Double Entry Bookkeeping and the Distributional Properties of a Firm's Financial Ratios," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5-6), pages 583-606.
    6. Gallizo, Jose L. & Salvador, Manuel, 2003. "Understanding the behavior of financial ratios: the adjustment process," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 267-283.
    7. Lev, Baruch & Sunder, Shyam, 1979. "Methodological issues in the use of financial ratios," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 187-210, December.
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    financial ratios; nonstationarity; proportionate growth; cointegration; panel methods;

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