Macroeconomic conditions and business exit: determinants of failures and acquisitions of UK firms



Publishing details

Social Sciences Research Network

Authors / Editors

Bhattacharjee A; Higson C; Holly S; Kattuman P


Publication Year



We study the impact of macroeconomic instability on business exit in a world where acquisition and bankruptcy are co-determined. Our objective is to discover how the processes that determine bankruptcies and acquisitions depend on the macroeconomic environment, particularly, macroeconomic instability. To this end we estimate competing risks hazard regression models using data on UK quoted firms spanning a thirty-eight year period that witnessed several business cycles. We find that macroeconomic instability has opposite effects on bankruptcy hazard and acquisition hazard, raising the former and lowering the latter. While it is not surprising that bankruptcy hazard is counter-cyclical and acquisition hazard pro-cyclical, it is noteworthy that the US business cycle is a better predictor of UK acquisitions and bankruptcies than the UK cycle itself.


Bankruptcy; Acquisitions; Macroeconomic instability; Competing risks; Cox proportional hazards model


Social Sciences Research Network