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Is the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme Hazardous for Banks or Helpful to Small Business?


  • Cowling, Marc
  • Mitchell, Peter


Loan guarantee schemes are an integral part of SME policy in both developed and developing countries. Yet little has been done to evaluate such programmes, particularly in terms of their ability to correct for capital market imperfections. This paper uses individual loan data from some 42,000 UK SFLGS backed debt contracts to empirically test the default specification outlined in the seminal credit rationing paper of Stiglitz and Weiss (1981). The results show that default (failure) does increase with the banks cost of capital, but not with the government premium. In addition, default appears to be determined by a whole host of other factors not typically considered in the credit rationing literature. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Cowling, Marc & Mitchell, Peter, 2003. "Is the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme Hazardous for Banks or Helpful to Small Business?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 63-71, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:21:y:2003:i:1:p:63-71

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    2. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    3. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1992. "Some Evidence on the Empirical Significance of Credit Rationing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 1047-1077, October.
    4. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1992. "Investment and Research and Development at the Firm Level: Does the Source of Financing Matter?," NBER Working Papers 4096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-855, September.
    6. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-1526, November.
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