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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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 99 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 184-203

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:99:y:2011:i:1:p:184-203
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Whited, Toni M, 1992. " Debt, Liquidity Constraints, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1425-60, September.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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