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The sudden onset of the COVID shock has left European economies reeling, resulting in a sudden contraction of demand that has hit some vulnerable firms and sectors in a remarkably uneven way.
There is a genuine interest from policymakers to learn about which types of firms have been left in vulnerable circumstances as a result of the crisis. In this paper, we present new evidence on the evolution of investment plans of certain groups of firms suspected of being vulnerable -young and small firms, High-Growth Enterprises (HGEs) and R&D investors. We applied a difference-in-differences approach on panel data regarding forward-looking investment expectations.
The results show that all the vulnerable groups are pessimistic about the availability of internal and external finance, with HGEs suddenly expecting less of a positive change in investment, and R&D investors expecting a negative change in investment.