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Carsten Preuss

16 December 2019
Using a large set of firm-level survey data from the euro area since 2009, we analyse how firms use their information to form expectations on the availability of bank finance. Our results suggest that firms update what otherwise look like adaptive expectations on the basis of the latest information in their information set. As in the previous literature, the hypothesis that expectations fulfil the (orthogonality) conditions of the rational expectations hypothesis is rejected by the data. We find evidence that this is not only due to information imperfections but also to some type of misspecification of the expectations’ model that firms are using. In addition, we find some evidence that companies that have not used bank finance recently tend to do worse at forecasting its availability next period. To test how policy announcements may affect expectations, we concentrate on the possible effects of the ECB policy announcements of summer 2012, which included among other things the announcement of the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions Program (OMT). Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find evidence of forward-looking expectations. In particular, shortly after the OMT announcement the forecast of “informed” firms were more upbeat compared to the control group of firms. This moreover was true in both vulnerable and non-vulnerable countries, suggesting that it was the relevance of the information about the future of the banking system that most mattered for expectations at the time, more than the immediate impact of the announced policy measures.
JEL Code
C83 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Survey Methods, Sampling Methods
D22 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations