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Credit constraints and productivity of SMEs: Evidence from Canada

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  • Cao, Shutao
  • Leung, Danny

Abstract

To what extent firms are constrained by external credit is usually unobserved in commonly used firm-level data. We use a survey of financing among Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises to measure the likelihood of a firm being constrained by credit. We find that firm size, current debt-to-asset ratio and cash flow are robust indicators of being financially constrained, while long-term debt to asset ratio is not a significant indicator of credit constraints. We then estimate the firm-level total factor productivity, taking into account the measured credit constraints. Omitting credit constraints leads to an upward bias of productivity estimates, by 4 percent. In addition, we find no strong evidence that suggests credit constraints lead to slower productivity growth. Finally, we confirm that both investment and employment growth are negatively affected by the measured credit constraints.

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  • Cao, Shutao & Leung, Danny, 2020. "Credit constraints and productivity of SMEs: Evidence from Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 163-180.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:88:y:2020:i:c:p:163-180
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2019.09.018
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Financial constraint; Firm growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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