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.

Top team diversity, cities and business performance

Like many Western countries, the UK has become substantially more ethnically and culturally diverse. The 2011 Census makes this crystal clear. Since 2001, the foreign-born population in England and Wales has jumped from 4.6 to 7.5m. At the same time, the ‘white British’ ethnic group shrank from 87.5-80% of the population. What are the economic impacts of these deep demographic shifts, and what do they mean for cities?