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Dependence on External Finance by Manufacturing Sector: Examining the Measure and its Properties

  • George von Furstenberg


    (National Science Foundation and Indiana University)

  • Ulf von Kalckreuth


    (Deutsche Bundesbank)

Rajan & Zingales (1998) use U.S. Compustat firm data for the 1980s to obtain measures of manufacturing sectors’ Dependence on External Finance (DEF). They take any differences in these measures to be structural/technological and thus applicable to other countries. Their joint assumptions about how to obtain representative values of DEF by sector and about why these values differ between sectors have been used widely to show that sectors benefit unequally from a country’s level of financial development. However, the assumptions as such have not been examined. The present study, conducted with cyclically adjusted annual DEF measures, attempts to do so using U.S. industry data for 1977-1997 aggregated by sector. The key findings are that structural/ technological variables have low explanatory power for DEF and that the DEF figures calculated from micro data do not correspond closely to what is obtained from aggregate data. Hence assumptions crucial for RZ's argumentation have not been validated.

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Paper provided by Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington in its series Caepr Working Papers with number 2007-001.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2007001
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