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Ernesto Crivelli, Ruud A. de Mooij, J. E. J. De Vrijer, Mr. Shafik Hebous, and Mr. Alexander D Klemm
This paper aims to contribute to the European policy debate on corporate income tax reform in three ways. First, it takes a step back to review the performance of the CIT in Europe over the past several decades and the important role played by MNEs in European economies. Second, it analyses corporate tax spillovers in Europe with a focus on the channels and magnitudes of both profit shifting and CIT competition. Third, the paper examines the progress made in European CIT coordination and discusses reforms to strengthen the harmonization of corporate tax policies, in order to effectively reduce both tax competition and profit shifting.
Luiza Antoun de Almeida and Mr. Thierry Tressel
This paper studies the evolution of non-financial corporate debt among publicly listed companies in major advanced economies between 2010 and 2017. Since 2010, firms have started to rely more on corporate bond markets and have used part of their debt to increase their holdings of cash. In our sample of some 5,000 firms, we find substantial differences across countries, industries, firms, and years in leverage and debt maturity, and we also identify time factors that are common drivers of capital structures. Within countries, loosening an index of financial conditions seems to be associated with lengthening debt maturity after controlling for firms’ characteristics. Across firms and countries, leveraging and lengthening debt maturity have been greater where economic growth was stronger. Tighter financial conditions are positively associated with an increase in short-term debt financing. Quantile regressions suggest that there is substantial heterogeneity among firms on how they react to macro-financial conditions: large increases in long-term debt financing and large declines in short-term debt financing tend to be driven more by better macroeconomic performance, while large increases in short-term debt financing are more strongly impacted by tighter financial conditions. Since the paper uses data up to 2017, it does not reflect developments that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, sensitivity analysis shows that a significant amount of corporate debt, representing more than 5 percent of GDP, could be at risk in some countries, with an adverse spillover to the financial system if financial conditions tighten or economic growth slows down. This suggests that vulnerabilities should be closely monitored and policy action taken if warranted.
Mr. Christian H Ebeke and Kodjovi M. Eklou
This paper investigates the microeconomic origins of aggregate economic fluctuations in Europe. It examines the relevance of idiosyncratic shocks at the top 100 large firms (the granular shocks) in explaining aggregate macroeconomic fluctuations. The paper also assesses the strength of spillovers from large firms onto SMEs. Using firm-level data covering over 14 million firms and eight european countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain), we find that: (i) 40 percent of the variance in GDP in the sample can be explained by idiosyncratic shocks at large firms; (ii) positive granular shocks at large firms spill over to domestic SMEs’ output, especially if SMEs’ balance sheets are healthy and if SMEs belong to the services and manufacturing sectors.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the youth unemployment problem in advanced European economies, especially the euro area. Youth unemployment rates increased sharply in the euro area after the crisis. Much of these increases can be explained by output dynamics and the greater sensitivity of youth unemployment to economic activity compared with adult unemployment. Labor market institutions also play an important role, especially the tax wedge, minimum wages, and spending on active labor market policies. The paper highlights that policies to address youth unemployment should be comprehensive and country specific, focusing on reviving growth and implementing structural reforms.
Yishay Yafeh, Mr. Kenichi Ueda, and Mr. Stijn Claessens
Financial frictions have been identified as key factors affecting economic fluctuations and growth. But, can institutional reforms reduce financial frictions? Based on a canonical investment model, we consider two potential channels: (i) financial transaction costs at the firm level; and (ii) required return at the country level. We empirically investigate the effects of institutions on these financial frictions using a panel of 75,000 firm-years across 48 countries for the period 1990 - 2007. We find that improved corporate governance (e.g., less informational problems) and enhanced contractual enforcement reduce financial frictions, while stronger creditor rights (e.g., lower collateral constraints) are less important.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Japan’s public debt and the challenges facing small- and medium-size enterprises in Japan. Historically, Japan’s public debt has been financed in a fairly smooth manner. The large pool of household savings and the stable domestic institutional investor base appear to have contributed to this successful experience. However, Japan is already undergoing rapid population aging, which will likely limit the market’s future absorptive capacity of public debt. In addition, structural shifts in institutional investors could also serve to reduce market demand.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

With a sustained economic recovery under way and another successful enlargement of the European Union (EU) under its belt, Europe should finally have something to cheer about. Instead, reform fatigue has gripped many policymakers, and Europe’s citizens seem intent on blaming the EU and globalization for their countries’ woes. For instance, a new FT-Harris poll showed that an overwhelming majority of citizens in the big euro area countries now believe that the euro has damaged their national economies. In this interview with Camilla Andersen of the IMF Survey, Michael Deppler, head of the IMF’s European Department, explains why the notion that Europe’s problems are caused by excessive globalization is badly off the mark.

Mr. David T. Coe and Mr. Reza Moghadam
An aggregate production function is estimated with recent cointegrating techniques that are particularly appropriate for estimating long-run relationships. The empirical results suggest that the growth of output in France has been spurred by increased trade integration within the European Community and by the accumulation not only of business sector capital—the only measure of capital included in most empirical studies—but also by the accumulation of government infrastructure capital, residential capital, and R&D capital. Calculations of potential output indicate that trade and capital—broadly defined—account for all of the growth in the French economy during the last two decades.
DAVID T. COE and REZA MOGHADAM

An aggregate production function is estimated using recent cointegrating techniques particularly appropriate for estimating long-run relationships. The empirical results suggest that the growth of output in France has been spurred by increased trade integration within the European Community and by the accumulation not only of business sector capital—the only measure of capital included in most empirical studies—but also by government infrastructure capital, residential capital, and research and development capital. Calculations of potential output indicate that trade and capital—broadly defined—account for all of the growth in the French economy during the past two decades.