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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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Cited by:
  1. Strieborny, Martin, 2013. "Suppliers, Investors, and Equity Market Liberalizations," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2013/13, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies, Lund University.
  2. Heyman, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "The Dynamics of Offshoring and Institutions," Ratio Working Papers 190, The Ratio Institute.
  3. Tingvall, Patrik Gustavsson & Poldahl, Andreas, 2011. "Determinants of Firm R&D: The Role of Relationship-specific Interactions for R&D Spillovers," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 251, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.

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