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The Effect of Financial Leverage on Operating Performance: Evidence from the Czech Republic

Zdeněk Toušek, Barbora Malinská, Martin Prokop and David Procházka

Prague Economic Papers, 2021, vol. 2021, issue 4, 381-401

Abstract: The paper investigates the relationship of financial leverage and operating performance in a small open economy. A comprehensive sample consists of panel data from 1,821 Czech firms over the period 2006 to 2017. We find that leverage has a negative effect on the operating performance for the entire sample as well as for subsamples structured according to size or sector. We also find evidence that the relationship between leverage and performance in some sectors and segments is weakened during periods of economic downturn, as well as during the recent foreign exchange interventions of the Czech National Bank. Our study, focusing on the banking perspective, contributes to the debate about the impact of differences in leverage across sectors and segments on the capital allocation channels, managed in small open economies predominantly by banks.

Keywords: Financial leverage; operating performance; firm size; Czech Republic (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C20 D20 G33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.18267/j.pep.774

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Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2021:y:2021:i:4:id:774:p:381-401