Leverage, Imports, Profitability, Exchange Rates, and Capital Investment: A Panel Data Study of the Textile and Apparel Industries 1974-1987

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This paper explores the relationship between capital structure and import competition for the textile and apparel industries from 1974-1987. The level of import penetration should have an important effect on business risk and hence on financial leverage. We also examine the response of leverage to the interrelationships that may exist between import competition and three other factors: firm profitability, strength of the dollar, and investment in capital equipment.The evidence suggests that leverage for the textile firms increases with rising imports but that the effect is less marked if the imports are the result of a strengthening dollar. The textile firms also seem to have inaugurated a capital investment campaign in reaction to import competition. For apparel firms, the interrelationship between profitability and import penetration seems to have been the primary determinant of leverage.



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