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Bank concentration and financial constraints on firm-level investment in Europe

  • Ratti, Ronald A.
  • Lee, Sunglyong
  • Seol, Youn

This study examines the effect of bank concentration on financing constraints of non-financial firms in 14 European countries between 1992 and 2005. Using firm-level data we analyze financial constraints with the Euler equation derived from the dynamic investment model. We find that with a highly concentrated banking sector firms are less financially constrained. This result is robust to consideration of firm opacity, firm size, and business cycle. Relaxation of financial constraint while greater for firms in less opaque industries also accrues for firms in more opaque industries. Greater bank concentration is associated with less tight financial constraint during both expansions and recessions. Results overall are consistent with an information-based hypothesis that more market power increases banks' incentives to produce information on potential borrowers. Findings are robust to consideration of country specific institutional factors.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2684-2694

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:32:y:2008:i:12:p:2684-2694
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