Credit Supply Shocks: Financing Real Growth or Takeovers?
How do firms invest when financial constraints are relaxed? We document that firms affected by a large positive credit supply shock predominantly increase borrowing for transaction-based purposes. These treated firms have larger asset and employment growth rates; however, growth entirely stems from the increased takeover activity. Announcement returns indicate a low quality of the credit-supply-induced takeover activity. These results offer the possibility that credit-driven growth can simply reflect redistribution, rather than net gains in assets or employment.