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Financial frictions and indebtedness of Balkan firms: A comparison with Mediterranean and Central European countries

Velimir Bole, Ana Oblak, Janez Prašnikar and Domen Trobec

Journal of Policy Modeling, 2018, vol. 40, issue 4, 790-809

Abstract: Using a large database of financial data for non-financial corporations, we study the process of debt accumulation and its influence on liquidity through the boom-bust-recovery regimes (2006–2010) in the Balkan countries and benchmark this against the Mediterranean and Central European countries. The domestic amplification effects (through the financial accelerator and collateral pricing) of both the capital surge from developed EU countries at the onset of the crisis and the capital reversal afterwards are the focus of the analysis. We show that domestic generators and amplificators of the crisis have much larger effects in the Balkan countries than in the Mediterranean countries, not to mention the countries of Central Europe. In the boom period, the financial accelerator was several times stronger in the Balkan countries than in the Mediterranean and Central European countries. In the bust and recovery periods, however, the direct effects of the financial accelerator declined, but the indirect effects increased considerably due to liquidity squeezes and contagion, especially strong were corresponding intercompany debt effects. In the Balkan countries, these effects in the bust and recovery periods were at least 50% larger than in the Mediterranean and Central European countries. Higher crisis costs in the Balkan countries, relative to the benchmark regions, could be attributed to the late integration of these economies into international financial and trade flows, weak institutions of financial intermediation, and inexperienced regulators; however, the importance of the contribution of misguided EU convergence doctrine cannot be ignored. Lessons for improving macromanagement in EU periphery countries are suggested.

Keywords: Indebtedness; Investments; Core business activities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G32 G31 G01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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