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Do Credit Constraints Affect SME Investment and Employment?

Author

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  • Petra Gerlach-Kristen

    (Swiss National Bank, Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Brian O'Connell

    (Indecon International Economic Consultants, Dublin)

  • Conor O'Toole

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

Abstract

This paper explores the potential presence of credit constraints confronting Irish SMEs and investigates the impact of these constraints on firms’ employment and investment. Using new survey data collected by the Department of Finance, we define firms as credit rationed or discouraged borrowers and link these constraints to employment and the propensity to invest. We find a negative and significant effect of SME credit constraints on employment for firms that are discouraged from applying for credit. We also find a negative effect of constraints on the probability of an SME investing. This effect is driven by firms who are credit rationed when seeking capacity expansion loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Brian O'Connell & Conor O'Toole, 2015. "Do Credit Constraints Affect SME Investment and Employment?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 51-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:46:y:2015:i:1:p:51-86
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    Cited by:

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    2. Carol Newman & Conor O’Toole & Christina Kinghan, 2018. "Capital allocation, credit access, and firm growth in Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 67, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Kren, Janez & Lawless, Martina & O'Toole, Conor, 2021. "Cost of doing business during COVID-19: SME investment in public health compliance," Papers WP701, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Lawless, Martina & Martinez-Cillero, Maria & O'Toole, Conor, 2021. "SME investment determinants and financing constraints: A stochastic frontier approach," Papers WP699, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Carroll, James & Mooney, Paul & O'Toole, Conor, 2016. "Irish SME Investment in Economic Recovery," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 77-91, March.
    6. O’Toole, Conor & Hennessy, Thia, 2015. "Do decoupled payments affect investment financing constraints? Evidence from Irish agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 67-75.
    7. McQuinn, Kieran & O’Toole, Conor & Economides, Philip, 2018. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Autumn 2018," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC, december.
    8. Wellalage, Nirosha Hewa & Locke, Stuart, 2020. "Formal credit and innovation: Is there a uniform relationship across types of innovation?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-15.
    9. Lawless, Martina & O’Toole, Conor & Slaymaker, Rachel, 2018. "Estimating an SME investment gap and the contribution of financing frictions," Papers WP589, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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