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Credit supply during a sovereign debt crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Marcello Bofondi

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Luisa Carpinelli

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Enrico Sette

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We study the effect of the increase in Italian sovereign debt risk on credit supply on a sample of 670,000 bank-firm relationships between December 2010 and December 2011, drawn from the Italian Central Credit Register. To identify a causal link, we exploit the lower impact of sovereign risk on foreign banks operating in Italy than on domestic banks. We study firms borrowing from at least two banks and include firm x period fixed effects in all regressions to controlling for unobserved firm heterogeneity. We find that Italian banks tightened credit supply: the lending of Italian banks grew by about 3 percentage points less than that of foreign banks, and their interest rates were 15-20 basis points higher, after the outbreak of the sovereign debt crisis. We test robustness by splitting foreign banks into branches and subsidiaries, and then examine whether selected bank characteristics may have amplified or mitigated the impact. We also study the extensive margin of credit, analyzing banks' propensity to terminate existing relationships and to grant new loan applications. Finally, we test whether firms were able to compensate for the reduction of credit from Italian banks by borrowing more from foreign banks. We find that this was not the case, so that the sovereign crisis had an aggregate impact on credit supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcello Bofondi & Luisa Carpinelli & Enrico Sette, 2013. "Credit supply during a sovereign debt crisis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 909, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_909_13
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit supply; sovereign debt crisis; bank lending channel;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers

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