Discussion paper

DP18722 Interest Rate Uncertainty and Firm Decisions

We examine the effects of uncertainty regarding the path of interest rates on firms decisions in the euro area. In the presence of heightened short-term interest rate uncertainty, firms tend to decrease their future investments and hiring activities. They also adopt a more cautious approach by hoarding cash and cutting dividend payments. Firm heterogeneity is crucial, as the negative effect on future investment is magnified when firms are ex-ante exposed to interest rate risk, face financial constraints or lack hedging strategies. These effects operate mainly through a financing and cash flow channel, highlighting the presence of a Finance-Interest-Rate-Uncertainty multiplier, whereby the effects of this uncertainty are amplified by the presence of financial constraints. Conversely, we find no significant effects of long-term interest rate uncertainty on firm decisions.


Duquerroy, A, K Istrefi and S Mouabbi (2023), ‘DP18722 Interest Rate Uncertainty and Firm Decisions‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18722. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18722