We use the recent financial crisis to investigate financing constraints of private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belgium. We hypothesize that SMEs with a large proportion of long-term debt maturing at the start of the crisis had difficulties to renew their loans due to the negative credit supply shock, and hence could invest less. We find a substantial variation in the maturity structure of long-term debt. Firms which at the start of the crisis had a larger part of their long-term debt maturing within the next year experienced a significantly larger drop in investments in 2009. This effect is driven by firms which are ex ante more likely to be financially constrained. Consistent with a causal effect of a credit supply shock to corporate investments, we find no effect in “placebo” periods without a negative credit supply shock.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2012
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