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Does access to external finance improve productivity? Evidence from a natural experiment


  • Butler, Alexander W.
  • Cornaggia, Jess


We study the relation between access to finance and productivity. Our contribution to the literature is a clean identification of a causal effect of access to finance on productivity. Specifically, we exploit an exogenous shift in demand for a product to expose how producers adapt their productivity in the presence of varying levels of access to finance. We use a triple differences testing approach and find that production increases the most over the sample period in areas with relatively strong access to finance, even in comparison with a control group. This result is statistically significant and robust to a variety of controls, alternative variables, and tests. The causal effect of access to finance on productivity that we find speaks to the larger role of finance in economic growth.

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  • Butler, Alexander W. & Cornaggia, Jess, 2011. "Does access to external finance improve productivity? Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 184-203, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:99:y:2011:i:1:p:184-203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jith Jayaratne & Philip E. Strahan, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-670.
    2. Whited, Toni M., 2006. "External finance constraints and the intertemporal pattern of intermittent investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 467-502, September.
    3. Becker, Bo, 2007. "Geographical segmentation of US capital markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 151-178, July.
    4. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
    5. Sudheer Chava & Michael R. Roberts, 2008. "How Does Financing Impact Investment? The Role of Debt Covenants," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2085-2121, October.
    6. Mathilde Maurel, 2001. "Investment, Efficiency, and Credit Rationing: Evidence from Hungarian Panel Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 403, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Whited, Toni M, 1992. " Debt, Liquidity Constraints, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1425-1460, September.
    8. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Minjia & Guariglia, Alessandra, 2013. "Internal financial constraints and firm productivity in China: Do liquidity and export behavior make a difference?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1123-1140.
    2. Giammario Impullitti & Richard Kneller & Danny McGowan, 2017. "Demand-driven technical change and productivity growth: Evidence from the US Energy Policy Act," Discussion Papers 2017-07, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    3. Çagatay Bircan & Ralph de Haas, 2015. "The Limits of Lending: Banks and Technology Adoption across Russia," CESifo Working Paper Series 5461, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Levine, Oliver & Warusawitharana, Missaka, 2014. "Finance and Productivity Growth: Firm-level Evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Nuri Ersahin, 2017. "Creditor Rights, Technology Adoption, and Productivity: Plant-Level Evidence," Working Papers 17-36, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Minjia Chen & Alessandra Guariglia, "undated". "Financial constraints and firm productivity in China: do liquidity and export behavior make a difference?," Discussion Papers 11/09, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    7. Cornaggia, Jess, 2013. "Does risk management matter? Evidence from the U.S. agricultural industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 419-440.
    8. Castillo, Leopoldo Laborda & Guasch, Jose Luis, 2012. "Overdraft facility policy and firm performance : an empirical analysis in eastern European Union industrial firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6101, The World Bank.
    9. Lau, Chee Kwong, 2016. "How corporate derivatives use impact firm performance?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 102-114.
    10. Yang, Tina & Zhao, Shan, 2014. "CEO duality and firm performance: Evidence from an exogenous shock to the competitive environment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 534-552.
    11. repec:eee:jfinec:v:124:y:2017:i:3:p:580-598 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Salahodjaev, Raufhon, 2015. "Intelligence and finance," MPRA Paper 68950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Karthik Krishnan & Debarshi K. Nandy & Manju Puri, 2015. "Does Financing Spur Small Business Productivity? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(6), pages 1768-1809.
    14. Tleubayev, Alisher & Bobojonov, Ihtiyor & Götz, Linde & Hockmann, Heinrich & Glauben, Thomas, 2017. "Determinants of productivity and efficiency of wheat production in Kazakhstan: A stochastic frontier approach
      [Determinanten von Produktivität und Effizienz der Weizenproduktion in Kasachstan: Ein
      ," IAMO Discussion Papers 160, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    15. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:2:p:440-461 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Cornaggia, Jess & Mao, Yifei & Tian, Xuan & Wolfe, Brian, 2015. "Does banking competition affect innovation?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 189-209.
    17. Wang, Chenguang & Oppedahl, David, 2015. "Low Access to Credit Decreases Asset Prices - Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Agriculture," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205127, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    18. Kandilov, Amy M.G. & Kandilov, Ivan T., 2013. "The Impact of Interstate Bank Branching Deregulations on the U.S. Agricultural Sector: From Better Access to Credit to Higher Farm Sales and Profits," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149820, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. McGowan, Danny, 2014. "Do entry barriers reduce productivity? Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(1), pages 97-100.
    20. Bruce Dwyer & Bernice Kotey, 2015. "Financing SME Growth: The Role of the National Stock Exchange of Australia and Business Advisors," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 25(2), pages 114-123, June.

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