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Investment in Relationship-Specific Assets: Does Finance Matter ?

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  • Strieborny Martin
  • Kukenova Madina

Abstract

Existing literature sees opportunistic behaviour of contractual partners as the main reason why rational agents underinvest in relationship-specific assets. We look beyond this well-know holdup problem and argue that financial vulnerability and short-term planning horizon can also lead to such underinvestment. Subsequently, banks can stimulate growth-enhancing investment in relationship-specific assets by signalling creditworthiness and long-term planning horizon of their borrowers. We empirically confum this hypothesis by showing that industries dependent on relationship-specific investment from their suppliers grow disproportionately faster in countries with a strong banking sector. Our work establishes a novel channel through which finance affects the real economy. It also complements the literature that has stressed legally binding contracts as a standard way to promote investment in relationship-specific assets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 11.01.

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Length: 23 pages + appendix and tables
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:11.01

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Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
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Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Keywords: financial development; relationship-specific investment; growth;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Patrik Tingvall & Andreas Poldahl, 2012. "Determinants of Firm R&D: The Role of Relationship-Specific Interactions for R&D Spillovers," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 395-411, December.
  2. Heyman, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "The Dynamics of Offshoring and Institutions," Ratio Working Papers 190, The Ratio Institute.
  3. Strieborny, Martin, 2013. "Suppliers, Investors, and Equity Market Liberalizations," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2013/13, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies, Lund University.

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