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Understanding the lack of corporate investment in Europe

A focal point of Sebnem Kalemli-Özcan’s research has been economic growth and productivity in Europe, especially in the aftermath of the European debt crisis.

In a striking example of her big-data approach, her research is based on data from ten eurozone countries, and links firms to banks to sovereigns to quantify the role of financial factors behind sluggish corporate investment and show that debt overhang and rollover risk accounted for 60 percent of the decline in aggregate corporate investment in post-crisis Europe.

Ten years after the crisis, the de-leveraging process still affects corporate investment and, ultimately, productivity and growth. Kalemli-Özcan suggests focusing on policies that directly target the very indebted corporate sector.