The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Bergljot Barkbu, Pelin Berkmen, Pavel Lukyantsau, Sergejs Saksonovs, and Hanni Schoelermann
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Investment across the euro area remains below its pre-crisis level. Its performance has been weaker than in most previous recessions and financial crises. This paper shows that a part of this weakness can be explained by output dynamics, particularly before the European sovereign debt crisis. The rest is explained by a high cost of capital, financial constraints, corporate leverage, and uncertainty. There is a considerable cross country heterogeneity in terms of both investment dymanics and its determinants. Based on the findings of this paper, investment is expected to pick up as the recovery strengthens and uncertainty declines, but persistent financial fragmentation and high corporate leverage in some countries will likely continue to weigh on investment.