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The causal effect of credit guarantees for SMEs: evidence from Italy


  • Alessio D'Ignazio

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Carlo Menon



We evaluate the effectiveness of a partial credit guarantee program implemented in a large Italian region using unique microdata from a broad set of firms. Our results show that the policy was effective to the extent that it resulted in an improved financial condition for the beneficiary firms. While the total amount of bank debt was unaffected, firms showed a significant increase in the long-term component. Furthermore, targeted firms benefited from a substantial decrease in interest rates. On the other hand, there is some evidence that the probability of default increases as a consequence of the treatment, although the effect is only marginally significant. There are, instead, no effects on the real outcomes.

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  • Alessio D'Ignazio & Carlo Menon, 2013. "The causal effect of credit guarantees for SMEs: evidence from Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 900, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_900_13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beck, Thorsten & Klapper, Leora F. & Mendoza, Juan Carlos, 2010. "The typology of partial credit guarantee funds around the world," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 10-25, April.
    2. Salvatore Zecchini & Marco Ventura, 2009. "The impact of public guarantees on credit to SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 191-206, February.
    3. Columba, Francesco & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2010. "Mutual guarantee institutions and small business finance," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-54, April.
    4. Barone, Guglielmo & Felici, Roberto & Pagnini, Marcello, 2011. "Switching costs in local credit markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 694-704.
    5. José Miguel Benavente & Alexander Galetovic & Ricardo Sanhueza, 2006. "Fogape: an economic analysis," Working Papers wp222, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    6. Jae Kang & Almas Heshmati, 2008. "Effect of credit guarantee policy on survival and performance of SMEs in Republic of Korea," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 445-462, December.
    7. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    8. Allan Riding & Judith Madill & George Haines, 2007. "Incrementality of SME Loan Guarantees," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 47-61, June.
    9. Andrea Brandolini & Matteo Bugamelli & Guglielmo Barone & Antonio Bassanetti & Magda Bianco & Emanuele Breda & Emanuela Ciapanna & Federico Cingano & Francesco D'Amuri & Leandro D'Aurizio & Virginia D, 2009. "Report on trends in the Italian productive system," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 45, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Paolo Emilio Mistrulli & Valerio Vacca & Gennaro Corbisiero & Silvia del Prete & Luciano Esposito & Marco Gallo & Mariano Graziano & Maurizio Lozzi & Vincenzo Maffione & Daniele Marangoni & Andrea Mig, 2011. "Mutual Guarantee Institutions (MGIs) and small business credit during the crisis," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 105, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. Bronzini, Raffaello & de Blasio, Guido, 2006. "Evaluating the impact of investment incentives: The case of Italy's Law 488/1992," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 327-349, September.
    12. Claire Lelarge & David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2010. "Entrepreneurship and Credit Constraints: Evidence from a French Loan Guarantee Program," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 243-273 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Gai & Federica Ielasi, 2014. "Operational drivers affecting credit risk of mutual guarantee institutions," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 275-293, May.
    2. Boschi, Melisso & Girardi, Alessandro & Ventura, Marco, 2014. "Partial credit guarantees and SMEs financing," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 182-194.

    More about this item


    financial subsidies; credit constraints; banking;

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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