Financing Choice and Local Economic Growth: Evidence from Brazil
We study how financing non-traditional local activities, conceived here as a proxy for activity diversification, is associated with economic growth. We use municipality-level data from Brazil, a country with large geographical, social, and economic disparities observed across its more than 5500 municipalities. We find that finance to non-traditional local activities associates with higher municipal economic growth, suggesting a positive externality between the non-traditional and traditional sectors. Using large natural disasters in Brazil as sources of unexpected negative events, we find that this association between financing non-traditional local activities and economic growth becomes negative in times of distress. We find that traditional local sectors are more affected than non-traditional sectors following a natural disaster. Precisely because of the non-traditional sector’s dependence on the traditional sector, our results suggest that municipalities should restrengthen their traditional activities during adverse conditions.