IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Relational capital, profitability and access to credit: evidence from a sample of Italian small firms


  • Matteo Migheli



This paper investigates the relationship between relational capital and profitability and accessibility to credit of a small firm. The extant literature shows a positive link between relational capital and other variables relevant to a firm’s development but does not cover access to credit. Here, a sample of 136 small firms from Piemonte (north-western Italy) is used. The results show that relational capital eases the access to credit and, in some cases, increases the probability of running positive profits. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Migheli, 2013. "Relational capital, profitability and access to credit: evidence from a sample of Italian small firms," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 221-233, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:inrvec:v:60:y:2013:i:2:p:221-233
    DOI: 10.1007/s12232-013-0180-6

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    2. Wu, Fang & Cavusgil, S. Tamer, 2006. "Organizational learning, commitment, and joint value creation in interfirm relationships," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 81-89, January.
    3. Gordon Kingsley & Edward J. Malecki, 2004. "Networking for Competitiveness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 71-84, August.
    4. De Clercq, Dirk & Sapienza, Harry J., 2006. "Effects of relational capital and commitment on venture capitalists' perception of portfolio company performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 326-347, May.
    5. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2009. "Intangible Capital And U.S. Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 661-685, September.
    6. White, Fred C., 1995. "Valuation Of Intangible Capital In Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(02), December.
    7. Roberta Capello & Alessandra Faggian, 2005. "Collective Learning and Relational Capital in Local Innovation Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 75-87.
    8. Webster, Elizabeth, 2000. "The growth of enterprise intangible investment in Australia," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    9. Roberta Capello, 2001. "Spatial and Sectoral Characteristics of Relational Capital in Innovation Activity," ERSA conference papers ersa01p220, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Contractor, F. J. & Lorange, P., 2002. "The growth of alliances in the knowledge-based economy," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 485-502, August.
    11. Hans Westlund & Elin Nilsson, 2005. "Measuring enterprises' investments in social capital: A pilot study," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(8), pages 1079-1094.
    12. White, Fred C., 1995. "Valuation of Intangible Capital in Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(02), pages 437-445, December.
    13. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
    14. Macpherson, Allan & Holt, Robin, 2007. "Knowledge, learning and small firm growth: A systematic review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 172-192, March.
    15. Gleason, Katherine I. & Klock, Mark, 2006. "Intangible capital in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 300-314, May.
    16. Klock, Mark & Megna, Pamela, 2000. "Measuring and valuing intangible capital in the wireless communications industry," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 519-532.
    17. Carole Uhlaner, 1989. "“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 253-285, September.
    18. Dufhues, Thomas & Buchenrieder, Gertrud & Munkung, Nuchanata, 2012. "Individual social capital and access to formal credit in Thailand," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 123401, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    19. Matteo Migheli, 2011. "Capabilities and Functionings: The Role of Social Capital for Accessing New Capabilities," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 133-142.
    20. Matteo Migheli, 2012. "Socialisation, Trust and Reciprocity among Young People," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(I), pages 77-95, March.
    21. Chang, Kuo-Hsiung & Gotcher, Donald F., 2007. "Safeguarding investments and creation of transaction value in asymmetric international subcontracting relationships: The role of relationship learning and relational capital," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 477-488, December.
    22. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 2001. "Property Rights in a Flea Market Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 229-267, January.
    23. Delgado-Gomez, Jose M. & Ramirez-Aleson, Marisa & Espitia-Escuer, Manuel Antonio, 2004. "Intangible resources as a key factor in the internationalisation of Spanish firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 477-494, April.
    24. Matteo Migheli, 2012. "Assessing Trust Through Social Capital? A Possible Experimental Answer," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 298-327, April.
    25. Villalonga, Belen, 2004. "Intangible resources, Tobin's q, and sustainability of performance differences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 205-230, June.
    26. Wei-ping Wu, 2008. "Dimensions of Social Capital and Firm Competitiveness Improvement: The Mediating Role of Information Sharing," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 122-146, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Relational capital; Small firms; Access to credit; Italy; D22; M21; Z13;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:inrvec:v:60:y:2013:i:2:p:221-233. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.