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Published February 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Comparison Using Company Panel Data


We construct company panel data sets for manufacturing firms in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, covering the period 1978–1989. These data sets are used to estimate empirical investment equations, and to investigate the role played by financial factors in each country. A robust finding is that cash flow and profits terms appear to be both statistically and quantitatively more significant in the United Kingdom than in the three continental European countries. This is consistent with the suggestion that financial constraints on investment may be relatively severe in the more market-oriented U.K. financial system.

Additional Information

© 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Received for publication October 22, 1999. Revision accepted for publication September 14, 2001. We thank Jim Stock and two anonymous referees for useful comments and suggestions. We are also grateful to Richard Blundell, Bronwyn Hall, Hugo Kruiniger, Paul Milgrom, and Alessandro Sembenelli and to participants in conferences in Bergamo and Berlin for helpful comments. Financial support from the EC SPES program, and from CREST, WZB, and the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Fiscal Policy at IFS, is gratefully acknowledged.

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