Macro-fiscal analysis
Working paper

The asymmetric impact of economic policy uncertainty on firm-level investment in South Africa: Firm-level evidence from administrative tax data

Keagile Lesame
March 2021

This paper uses firm-level data and a news-based measure of economic policy uncertainty to provide empirical evidence that economic policy uncertainty has a negative impact on firm-level investment in South Africa. Firms’ investment decisions in response to uncertainty reflect firms’ heterogeneity. Medium-sized firms and, to a different extent, small firms reduce their investment by much more than large firms in response to increased policy uncertainty. The relationship between firms categorized by size and the degree of financial constraints they face implies that financially constrained firms are more sensitive to uncertainty than large, unconstrained firms.