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Bank market power and SME financing constraints

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Author Info

  • Santiago Carbó-Valverde
  • Francisco Rodriguez-Fernandez
  • Gregory F. Udell

Abstract

Theoretical models of lending and industrial organization theory predict that firm access to credit depends critically on bank market structure. However, empirical studies offer mixed results. Some studies find that higher concentration is associated with higher credit availability consistent with the information hypothesis that less competitive banks have more incentive to invest in soft information. Other empirical studies, however, find support for the market power hypothesis that credit rationing is higher in less competitive bank markets. This study tests these two competing hypotheses by employing for the first time a competition indicator from the Industrial Organization literature – the Lerner index – as an alternative to traditional measures of concentration. We test the information and the market power hypotheses using alternative measures and firm borrowing constraints. We find that the results are sensitive to the choice between IO margins and traditional concentration measures. In particular, the HHI seems to support the information hypothesis while the Lerner index supports the market power hypothesis. The Lerner index, however, is found to be a more consistent indicator of market power across different measures of financing constraints. Moreover, the Lerner index is found to exhibit the larger marginal effect on the probability that a firm is financially constrained among a large set of firm level, bank market and environmental control variables. Our results are robust to alternative measures of financial constraints and cast doubt on the validity of relying on concentration measures as proxies of competition in corporate lending relationships.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Proceedings with number 1022.

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Length: 143-163
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (2006: 42nd) ; Innovations in real estate markets : risk, rewards, and the role of regulation
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:1022

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Keywords: Banking market ; Financial institutions;

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Cited by:
  1. Kano, Masaji & Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Watanabe, Wako, 2011. "Information verifiability, bank organization, bank competition and bank-borrower relationships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 935-954, April.
  2. Kremp, E. & Sevestre, P., 2012. "Did the crisis induce credit rationing for French SMEs?," Working papers 405, Banque de France.
  3. Hasan, Iftekhar & Marinc , Matej, 2013. "Should competition policy in banking be amended during crises? Lessons from the EU," Research Discussion Papers 7/2013, Bank of Finland.
  4. Chong, T.T.L. & Lu, L. & Ongena, S., 2011. "Does Banking Competition Alleviate or Worsen Credit Constraints Faced by Small and Medium Enterprises? Evidence from China (Replaced by CentER DP 2012-013)," Discussion Paper 2011-006, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Alberto Zazzaro, 2009. "Competition and Relationship Lending: Friends or Foes?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 13, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  6. Morgan, Horatio M., 2013. "Foreign banks and the export performance of emerging market firms: Evidence from India," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 52-60.
  7. Behr, Patrick & Norden, Lars & Noth, Felix, 2013. "Financial constraints of private firms and bank lending behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3472-3485.
  8. Chong, Terence Tai-Leung & Lu, Liping & Ongena, Steven, 2013. "Does banking competition alleviate or worsen credit constraints faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises? Evidence from China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3412-3424.
  9. Carbó Valverde, Santiago & Degryse, Hans & Rodriguez-Fernandez, Francisco, 2012. "Lending relationships and credit rationing: the impact of securitization," CEPR Discussion Papers 9138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Chong, T.T.L. & Lu, L. & Ongena, S., 2012. "Does Banking Competition Alleviate or Worsen Credit Constraints Faced by Small and Medium Enterprises? Evidence from China (Replaces CentER DP 2011-006)," Discussion Paper 2012-013, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. MariaJosé Palacin-Sanchez & Filippo di Pietro, 2013. "Are Regional Institutional Factors Determinants Of The Capital Structure Of Smes?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p498, European Regional Science Association.
  12. Hakenes , Hendrik & Hasan, Iftekhar & Molyneux, Phil & Xie , Ru, 2014. "Small banks and local economic development," Research Discussion Papers 5/2014, Bank of Finland.
  13. Hake, Mariya, 2012. "Banking Sector Concentration and Firm Indebtedness: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3.
  14. Ogura, Yoshiaki, 2012. "Lending competition and credit availability for new firms: Empirical study with the price cost margin in regional loan markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1822-1838.
  15. FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide & Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & Duffy, David & Timoney, Kevin & Znuderl, Nusa, 2013. "Medium-Term Review: 2013-2020, No. 12," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number MTR12, March.
  16. Annie bellier & Wafa Sayeh & Stéphanie Serve, 2012. "What lies behind credit rationing? A survey of the literature," THEMA Working Papers 2012-39, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

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