Journal Article

Corporate Leverage and Investment


Abstract: In this article, we examine the relationship between high corporate leverage and future firm investment spending on structures, machinery, and equipment. In other words, we examine how debt influences the growth of a firm’s capital stock or fixed assets. We find that, on average, more leveraged firms across industries tend to have lower levels of investment activity in the future. Specifically, we find that the negative relationship between debt and investment is strongest for the most highly indebted firms and is evident in both economic downturns and expansions.

Keywords: Firms; Corporate Leverage; Investments;

JEL Classification: G32; L10;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Part of Series: Economic Review

Publication Date: 2020

Issue: Q 1