Economic policy uncertainty and its mediating effect on leverage on the adjustment speed of corporate investment– evidence from China

Hengzhen LU, Qiujin GAO, Ho Yin YICK*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Using the data of 677 listed manufacturing companies in China from 2008 to 2020, we construct an empirical model to study the adjustment speed of investment level and leverage change under economic policy uncertainty (EPU). Our empirical results show that: (1) EPU hinders the adjustment speed of firm investment level. (2) EPU is negatively associated with leverage and hinders the adjustment speed of leverage level. (3) Corporate leverage has a negative mediation effect on the adjustment speed of firm investment level. The response of firms and markets to economic policies always lags behind. In particular, the EPU effect is significant in long term, up to 3 years, and the negative mediating effect is lasted for 10 quarters. A robust check has been done to verify the results. It is suggested that policymakers should help to improve the information efficiency, smooth the market reaction and take the dominant position of market regulation, to avoid the large-scale shock from EPU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2934-2946
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number20
Early online date30 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

This work is supported by Major Projects of Philosophy and Social Science Research of Jiangsu universities (2022SJZD049) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities with Grant Number ND2021003.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Economic policy uncertainty
  • firm leverage ratio
  • adjustment of investment level
  • mediating effect

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