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An analysis of the effects of the severance payment reform on credit to Italian SMEs

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Author Info

  • Riccardo Calcagno
  • Roman Kraeussl
  • Chiara Monticone

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of the 2007 Italian severance payment reform on the cost and the access to credit for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach – The authors study the implications of the reform adapting the theoretical credit-rationing model of Holmstrom and Tirole, then estimate the capital outflows due to the reform and, using the theoretical prediction, assess its impact using mathematical simulations. Findings – The authors predict that the reform may cause severe credit constraints to SMEs which cannot pledge enough collateral in order to obtain credit. The most direct consequences are to reduce in the long run the amount of liquid assets available to Italian firms, and to reduce their aggregate investment in a more than proportional way, due to access to credit restrictions. However, it will not increase the cost of intermediated finance, ceteris paribus. Practical implications – The fact that the reform restricts access to credit, but does not increase the cost of debt, has important policy consequences, as public interventions subsidizing credit through a constant cost of debt may be ineffective. Originality/value – While the topic has been analyzed in several respects (e.g. workers' participation to the reform, cost of an access to credit subsidy, etc.), no other study proposed an integrated view of these effects with a rigorous micro-economic approach. JEL classification: G31, G32, G38

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Financial Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 243-261

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jfeppp:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:243-261

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Related research

Keywords: Credit constraints; Italy; Legislation; Moral hazard; Severance payment; Small to medium-sized enterprises;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Keuschnigg & Evelyn Ribi, 2010. "Business Taxation, Corporate Finance and Economic Performance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-04, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.

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