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Firm Leverage and the Financial Crisis

  • Altunok, Fatih
  • Oduncu, Arif

The firm growth dynamics is an important topic since the growth performance of firms is the main source of the economic growth in countries. Generally, crises produce a sharp decline in firms’ growth and this leads to a decline in both the level of employment and the income of households. This paper focuses on the role of firm leverage on the growth performance of the firm during the global financial crisis. We investigate whether the firms that experienced a large leverage increase before the global financial crisis has worse growth performance of 2007 to 2009 than the firms that didn’t experience this rise. The findings suggest that the poorer sales growth performance of the firm was related to the firm leverage increase before the global financial crisis. The evidence shows that the correlation between leverage growth and the poorer sales growth performance is robust to firm-level control variables, such as size, age, fixed assets, liquid assets, inventories, profitability, export share and industry-specific factor.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49194.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49194
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  1. Lang, Larry & Ofek, Eli & Stulz, Rene M., 1996. "Leverage, investment, and firm growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-29, January.
  2. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  3. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "Housing IS the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 13428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dunne, Paul & Hughes, Alan, 1994. "Age, Size, Growth and Survival: UK Companies in the 1980s," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 115-40, June.
  5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  6. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "The impact of leverage on firm investment: Canadian evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 277-291, March.
  7. Huynh, Kim P. & Petrunia, Robert J., 2010. "Age effects, leverage and firm growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1003-1013, May.
  8. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-61, April.
  9. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
  10. King, Mervyn, 1994. "Debt deflation: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 419-445, April.
  11. Chittenden, Francis & Hall, Graham & Hutchinson, Patrick, 1996. " Small Firm Growth, Access to Capital Markets and Financial Structure: Review of Issues and an Empirical Investigation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 59-67, February.
  12. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
  13. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1995. "Equity ownership and the two faces of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 131-157, September.
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