Financing constraints and unemployment: evidence from the Great Recession
This paper exploits the differential financing needs across industrial sectors and provides strong empirical evidence that financing constraints of small businesses are important in explaining the unemployment dynamics around the Great Recession. In particular, we show that workers in small firms are more likely to become unemployed during the 2007-2009 financial crisis if they work in industries with high external financing needs. According to our estimates, eliminating financial constraints of small firms could add up to 850,000 jobs to the economy. We suggest that policies aimed at making ...
The outlook, policy choices and our mandate
Remarks at the at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Fall Conference, City University of New York, Graduate School of Journalism, New York City.
Securing the recovery and building for the future
Remarks at United States Military Academy at West Point, West Point, New York.
The macroeconomics of microfinance
We provide a quantitative evaluation of the aggregate and distributional impact of microfinance or credit programs targeted toward small businesses. We find that the redistributive impact of microfinance is stronger in general equilibrium than in partial equilibrium, but the impact on aggregate output and capital is smaller in general equilibrium. Aggregate total factor productivity (TFP) increases with microfinance in general equilibrium but decreases in partial equilibrium. When general equilibrium effects are accounted for, scaling up the microfinance program will have only a small impact ...
Market power and relationships in small business lending
The empirical research literature regarding the effects of market structure on small business lending has yielded ambiguous results. This paper empirically tests for the presence of countervailing effects of increases in market concentration on small business loan volume. Countervailing effects would be expected if both the traditional Structure, Conduct, Performance (SCP) paradigm of industrial organization and a paradigm whereby market power benefits the formation of lending relationships (the relationship hypothesis), are at work. Using Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) data on small loans ...
The evolving relationship between community banks and small businesses: evidence from the Surveys of Small Business Finances
This paper uses data from the Federal Reserve Board?s 1998 and 2003 Surveys of Small Business Finances (SSBFs) to examine the evolving relationship between community banks and small businesses. The SSBFs provide extensive data on the types of financial services used by small businesses and the sources of those services. These data allow us to answer a number of interesting questions regarding small business usage of community banks, including the following: To what extent do small businesses rely on community banks as providers of at least some financial services? What types of financial ...
Distance still matters: the information revolution in small business lending and the persistent role of location, 1993-2003
In a seminal article on small business lending, Petersen & Rajan (2002) argue that technological changes have revolutionized small business lending markets, weakening the reliance of small businesses on local lenders and increasing geographic distances between firms and their credit suppliers. While their data only cover through 1993, they conjecture that the pace of change accelerated after 1993. Using the 1993, 1998, and 2003 Surveys of Small Business Finances (SSBFs), we test whether the distance changes identified by Petersen and Rajan continued or accelerated during the following decade. ...
Does credit supply affect small-firm finance?
States were granted authority to limit interstate branching following passage of Federal legislation in 1994, relaxing restrictions on geographical expansion by banks. We show that differences in state?s branching restrictions affect credit supply. In states more open to branching, small firms borrow at interest rates 25 to 45 basis points lower than firms operating in less open states. Firms in open states also are more likely to borrow from banks. Despite this evidence that interstate branch openness expands credit supply, we find no effect of variation in state restrictions on branching on ...
Verifying the state of financing constraints: evidence from U.S. business credit contracts
Which of the strategies for financing constraints in economic models is the most empirically plausible? This paper tests two commonly used models of financing constraints, costly state verification (Townsend, 1979) and moral hazard (Holmstrom and Tirole, 1997), using a comprehensive data set of US small business credit contracts. The data include detailed information about the business, its owner, bank balance sheet information, and the terms of credit. In line with the predictions of models of financing constraints, I find that an additional dollar of net worth accounts for about 30 cents of ...
Starting small and ending big -- the effect of monetary incentives on response rates in the 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances: an observational experiment
In 2003, the Survey of Small Business Finances (SSBF), conducted by the Federal Reserve Board, implemented the use of incentives to increase response rates. This study examines the effects of some of the characteristics of the implementation - such as level of effort, time in queue, and consecutively-increasing incentive amounts - on unit response. Our estimates suggest that as the number of days increase between the initial screener and main interview, the probability of completion decreases. Similarly, as the number of days increases between each consecutive incentive offer the probability ...