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.
The recent boom-bust cycle in the euro area's equity valuations has left nonfinancial corporations saddled with a legacy of high debt or leverage. Models of corporate investment behavior based on imperfect capital markets predict that highly leveraged balance sheets can act as a brake on investment spending. The paper's empirical analysis suggests that leverage effects on corporate investment can be substantial and persistent, particularly if leverage exceeds threshold values.