Regional Economic Growth and Firm Performance


Changes in local economic conditions can have important impacts on the performance and investment decisions of firms operating there. The spatial distribution of firms' current assets can therefore be a determinant of overall firm outcomes. I use a sample of 285 publicly traded retail, restaurant, hotel, and entertainment service chains from 1997 to 2016 to study the effect of quarterly state-level income growth on firms, exploring variation in the geographic location of stores. I find that firms with more stores in high-growth states have higher sales growth contemporaneously and higher predictable stock returns subsequently. In addition, firm expansion is positively associated with past state-level income growth. While higher investment sensitivity to positive past local income growth does not lead to higher future revenue growth, it is associated with a small increase in profitability. The results suggest that regional economic conditions are important for firm performance, but are under-weighted by investors and managers.

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Last updated on 11/15/2018