Private Debt, Public Debt, and Capital Misallocation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Does finance facilitate efficient allocation of resources? Our aim in this paper is to find out whether increases in private and public indebtedness affect capital misallocation, which is measured as the dispersion in the return to capital across firms in different industries. For this, we use a novel dataset containing industrylevel data for 18 European countries and control for different macroeconomic indicators as potential determinants of capital misallocation. We exploit the within-country variation across industries in such indicators as external finance dependence, technological intensity, credit constraints and competitive structure, and find that private debt accumulation disproportionately increases capital misallocation in industries with higher financial dependence, higher R&D intensity, a larger share of credit-constrained firms and a lower level of competition. On the other hand, we fail to find any significant and robust effect of public debt on capital misallocation within our country-sector pairs. We believe the distortionary effects of private debt found in our analysis needs a deeper theoretical investigation.
The CompNet Competitiveness Database The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)...
When Arm’s Length is too Far: Relationship Banking over the Credit Cycle
Journal of Financial Economics,
We conduct face-to-face interviews with bank CEOs to classify 397 banks across 21 countries as either relationship or transaction lenders. We then use the geographic coordinates of these banks’ branches and of 14,100 businesses to analyze how the lending techniques of banks in the vicinity of firms are related to credit constraints at two contrasting points of the credit cycle. We find that while relationship lending is not associated with credit constraints during a credit boom, it alleviates such constraints during a downturn. This positive role of relationship lending is stronger for small and opaque firms and in regions with a more severe economic downturn. Moreover, our evidence suggests that relationship lending mitigates the impact of a downturn on firm growth and does not constitute evergreening of loans.
Suppliers as Liquidity Insurers
IWH Discussion Papers,
We examine how financial constraints in portfolios of suppliers affect cash holdings at the level of the customer. Utilizing a data set of private and public French companies and their suppliers, we show that customers rely on their financially unconstrained suppliers to provide them with backup liquidity, and that they stockpile approximately 10% less cash than customers with constrained suppliers. This effect persisted during the global financial crisis, highlighting that suppliers may be viable insurers of liquidity even when financing from banks and other external channels is unavailable. We further show that customers with unconstrained suppliers also simultaneously receive more trade credit; that the reduction in cash holdings is greater for firms with stronger ties to their unconstrained suppliers; and that customers reduce their cash holdings following a significant relaxation in their suppliers’ financial constraints through an IPO. Taken together, the results provide important nuance regarding the implications of supplier portfolios and financial constraints on firm liquidity management.
Crowdfunding and Bank Stress
Banking Beyond Banks and Money: A Guide to Banking Services in the Twenty-First Century,
Bank instability may induce borrowers to use crowdfunding as a source of external finance. A range of stress indicators help identify banks with potential credit supply constraints, which then can be linked to a unique, manually constructed sample of 157 new ventures seeking equity crowdfunding, for comparison with 200 ventures that do not use crowdfunding. The sample comprises projects from all major German equity crowdfunding platforms since 2011, augmented with controls for venture, manager, and bank characteristics. Crowdfunding is significantly more likely for new ventures that interact with stressed banks. Innovative funding sources are thus particularly relevant in times of stress among conventional financiers. But crowdfunded ventures are generally also more opaque and risky than new ventures that do not use crowdfunding.
The Impact of Securitization on Credit Rationing: Empirical Evidence
Journal of Financial Stability,
We study whether banks’ involvement into different types of securitization activity – asset backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds – in Spain influences credit supply before and during the financial crisis. While both ABS and covered bonds were hit by the crisis, the former were hit more severely. Employing a disequilibrium model to identify credit rationing, we find that firms with banks that were more involved in securitization see their credit constraints more relaxed in normal periods. In contrast, only greater covered bonds issuance reduces credit rationing during crisis periods whereas ABS aggravates these firms’ credit rationing in crisis periods. Our results are in line with the theoretical predictions that a securitization instrument that retains risk (covered bond) may induce a more prudent risk behavior of banks than an instrument that provides risk transferring (ABS).
Financial Constraints on Growth: Comparing the Balkans to Other Transition Economies
Eastern European Economics,
This article applies an adjusted growth diagnostic approach to identify the currently most binding constraint on financing growth in the West Balkan countries. Since this group of economies faces both structural and systemic transformation problems, the original supply-side approach might not be sufficient to detect the most binding constraint. The results of the analysis indicate that the binding constraint on credit and investment growth in the region is the high and increasing share of nonperforming loans, primarily in the household sector, due to policy failures. This article compares the Balkan countries to a group of advanced transition economies. Single-country and panel regressions indicate that demand-side factors do not play a constraining role on growth in the West Balkan countries, but they do in the advanced transition economies.
Financial Constraints of Private Firms and Bank Lending Behavior
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We investigate whether and how financial constraints of private firms depend on bank lending behavior. Bank lending behavior, especially its scale, scope and timing, is largely driven by bank business models which differ between privately owned and state-owned banks. Using a unique dataset on private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) we find that an increase in relative borrowings from local state-owned banks significantly reduces firms’ financial constraints, while there is no such effect for privately owned banks. Improved credit availability and private information production are the main channels that explain our result. We also show that the lending behavior of local state-owned banks can be sustainable because it is less cyclical and neither leads to more risk taking nor underperformance.
Payment Defaults and Interfirm Liquidity Provision
Review of Finance,
Using a unique data set on French firms, we show that credit constrained firms that face liquidity shocks are more likely to default on their payments to suppliers. Credit constrained firms pass on a sizeable fraction of such shocks to their suppliers. This is consistent with the idea that firms provide liquidity insurance to each other and that this mechanism is able to alleviate credit constraints. We show that the chain of defaults stops when it reaches unconstrained firms. Liquidity appears to be allocated from firms with access to outside finance to credit constrained firms along supply chains.
Growth, Volatility, and Credit Market Imperfections: Evidence from German Firms
Journal of Economic Studies,
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, it studies whether output volatility and growth are linked at the firm-level, using data for German firms. Second, it explores whether the link between volatility and growth depends on the degree of credit market imperfections.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a novel firm-level dataset provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank, the so-called Financial Statements Data Pool. The dataset has time series observations for German firms for the period 1997-2004, and the authors use information on the debt-to-assets or leverage ratio of firms to proxy for credit-constraints at the firm-level. As additional proxies for the importance of credit market imperfections, we use information on the size and on the legal status of firms.
Findings – The authors find that higher volatility has a negative impact on growth for small and a positive impact for larger firms. Higher leverage is associated with higher growth. At the same time, there is heterogeneity in the determinants of growth across firms from different sectors and across firms with a different legal status.
Practical implications – While most traditional macroeconomic models assume that growth and volatility are uncorrelated, a number of microeconomic models suggest that the two may be linked. However, it is unclear whether the link is positive or negative. The paper presents additional evidence regarding this question. Moreover, understanding whether credit market conditions affect the link between volatility and growth is of importance for policy makers since it suggests a channel through which the credit market can have long-run welfare implications. The results stress the importance of firm-level heterogeneity for the effects and effectiveness of economic policy measures.
Originality/value – The paper has two main novel features. First, it uses a novel firm-level dataset to analyze the determinants of firm-level growth. Second, it analyzes the growth-volatility nexus using firm-level data. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper, which addresses the link between volatility, growth, and credit market imperfections using firm-level data.