The Resilience of French Companies to the COVID-19 Crisis

39 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Alexandre Garel

Alexandre Garel

Audencia Business School; Labex ReFi

Arthur Petit-Romec

SKEMA Business School; Université Côte d'Azur

Date Written: June 2, 2020


This paper explores the resilience of French listed companies to the COVID-19 shock. We examine the effect of numerous firm characteristics related to financial flexibility, ownership structure, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility on the stock returns during the COVID-19 shock. Our results show that French companies with more debt and less profitability experience worse stock returns, indicating the role played by financial flexibility. We also find that firms with greater ownership by short-term investors or active investors experience worse stock returns during the COVID-19 shock, suggesting that a base of shareholders with long-term orientation and commitment helps firms to weather the effect of market-wide shocks.

Keywords: COVID-19, financial crisis, French companies, debt, ownership structure

JEL Classification: F15, F23, F36, G01, G02, G14, G15

Suggested Citation

Garel, Alexandre and Petit-Romec, Arthur, The Resilience of French Companies to the COVID-19 Crisis (June 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Alexandre Garel (Contact Author)

Audencia Business School ( email )

8 Road Joneliere
BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, 44312

Labex ReFi ( email )

79 avenue de la République
Paris, 75011

Arthur Petit-Romec

SKEMA Business School ( email )

Sophia Antipolis

Université Côte d'Azur ( email )


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