Financial Heterogeneity, Investment, and Firm Interactions
Author: Yang Liu1
  • 1 0000000404811396 Monetary Fund
Recent literature has shown that corporate indebtedness affects firm-level investment behavior but not necessarily aggregate business cycles. I argue that interactions among heterogeneous firms play an important role in equilibrium. After a downturn, financially unconstrained firms in financially constrained industries significantly increase capital ex-penditure to substitute depressed investment by their financially constrained competitors. The increase in investment, primarily driven by small and medium firms, leads to substantial gains in future sales. Using a new empirical approach, I further show that equilibrium effects are unambiguously countercyclical because the increase in investment by unconstrained firms does not crowd out investment by financially constrained competitors. The “competitive interaction channel” underscored in this paper may play an important role in mitigating the impact of negative shocks in macroeconomic models with financial heterogeneity.
IMF Working Papers