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Firm age and the evolution of borrowing costs: Evidence from Japanese small firms

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  • Sakai, Koji
  • Uesugi, Iichiro
  • Watanabe, Tsutomu

Abstract

This paper investigates how firms' borrowing costs evolve as they age. Using a new panel data set of about 100,000 bank-dependent small firms for 1997-2002 and focusing on the channel of "adaptation" (i.e., surviving firms' borrowing costs decline as they age) and that of "selection" (i.e., total borrowing costs decline as defaulting firms exit), we find that the reputation hypothesis suggested by Diamond (1989) provides a more plausible explanation of the downward sloping age profile of borrowing costs than the firm dynamics (Cooley and Quadrini, 2001) or the relationship banking (Boot and Thakor, 1994) hypothesis. In addition, we examine whether the firm selection process in Japan has been natural or unnatural. Our findings suggest that it has been natural in that firms with lower quality are separated, face higher borrowing costs, and are eventually forced to exit, which contrasts with the results of previous studies on credit allocations in Japan, including Peek and Rosengren (2005). Further, we find that the evolution of borrowing costs is partially due to selection but is mainly attributable to adaptation.

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  • Sakai, Koji & Uesugi, Iichiro & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2010. "Firm age and the evolution of borrowing costs: Evidence from Japanese small firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1970-1981, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:8:p:1970-1981
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    Cited by:

    1. Uchida, Hirofumi & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Hosono, Kaoru & Ono, Arito & Uchino, Taisuke & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2015. "Financial shocks, bankruptcy, and natural selection," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 123-135.
    2. Alessandro Gambini & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Long-lasting bank relationships and growth of firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 977-1007, May.
    3. Uchida, Hirofumi & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Hosono, Kaoru & Ono, Arito & Uchino, Taisuke & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2013. "Natural Disaster and Natural Selection," Working Paper Series 25, Center for Interfirm Network, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Antonio Pedro Soares Pinto & Mario Gomes Augusto, 2014. "Are There Non-linear Effects of Banking Relationships and Ownership Concentration on Operational Performance? Empirical Evidence from Portuguese SMEs Using Cross-section Analysis and Panel Data," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 5(4), pages 67-84, October.
    5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2008. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1943-1977, December.
    6. Rahaman, Mohammad M., 2011. "Access to financing and firm growth," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 709-723, March.
    7. Dan Andrews & Filippos Petroulakis, 2017. "Breaking the Shackles: Zombie Firms, Weak Banks and Depressed Restructuring in Europe," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1433, OECD Publishing.
    8. Daisuke Tsuruta, 2015. "Leverage and firm performance of small businesses: evidence from Japan," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 385-410, February.
    9. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2013. "Do banks price discriminate spatially? Evidence from small business lending in local credit markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4183-4197.
    10. Sohn, Wook, 2010. "Market response to bank relationships: Evidence from Korean bank reform," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2042-2055, September.
    11. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2010. "Does gender matter in bank-firm relationships? Evidence from small business lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2968-2984, December.
    12. Taisuke Uchino & Iichiro Uesugi, 2012. "The Effects of a Megabank Merger on Firm-Bank Relationships and Borrowing Costs," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-233, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Uesugi, Iichiro, 2008. "Efficiency of Credit Allocation and Effectiveness of Government Credit Guarantees: Evidence from Japanese Small Businesses," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 353, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    14. Imai, Kentaro, 2016. "A panel study of zombie SMEs in Japan: Identification, borrowing and investment behavior," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 91-107.
    15. Kaoru Hosono & Miho Takizawa, 2012. "Do Financial Frictions Matter as a Source of Misallocation? Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers ron246, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan.
    16. Waikei R Lam & Jongsoon Shin, 2012. "What Role Can Financial Policies Play in Revitalizing SMEs in Japan?," IMF Working Papers 12/291, International Monetary Fund.
    17. HOSONO Kaoru & TAKIZAWA Miho, 2015. "Misallocation and Establishment Dynamics," Discussion papers 15011, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    18. Ylhäinen, Ilkka, 2017. "Life-cycle effects in small business finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 176-196.
    19. Nguyen, Thi Nhung & Gan, Christopher & Hu, Baiding, 2015. "An empirical analysis of credit accessibility of small and medium sized enterprises in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 81911, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    20. Brockman, Paul & Unlu, Emre, 2011. "Earned/contributed capital, dividend policy, and disclosure quality: An international study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1610-1625, July.
    21. Kentaro Imai, 2013. "A Panel Study of eZombie f SMEs in Japan: Identification, Borrowing and Investment Behavior," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-16, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit allocation Reputation Selection Relationship banking Firm dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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