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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    3. Yu, Jian & Fu, Jiasha, 2021. "Credit rationing, innovation, and productivity: Evidence from small- and medium-sized enterprises in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 220-230.

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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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