Journal of Banking and Finance

Firms’ Leverage and Export Quality: Evidence from France

Does corporate financial structure matter for a firm’s ability to compete in international markets through output quality? This study answers this question by using firm-level export and balance sheet data covering a large sample of French manufacturing exporters over the period 1997–2007. The main result is that there is a negative causal relation between a firm’s leverage and export quality, where quality is inferred from the estimation of a discrete choice model of foreign consumers’ demand. This result is robust across different specifications and estimation techniques.