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Increasing Business Uncertainty and Credit Conditions in Times of Low and High Uncertainty: Evidence from Firm-Level Survey Data

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  • Christian Grimme

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  • Steffen Henzel

Abstract

We demonstrate that the impact of increases in uncertainty on bank credit conditions depends on the level of uncertainty. Using firm-level survey data, we document that a surge in business-specific uncertainty is particularly damaging when this uncertainty is low: low levels nearly triple the effect compared to high levels. The result is robust to controlling for recessionary periods. To provide an interpretation, we build and calibrate a stylized model in which bank lending is governed by expectations about the future level of business uncertainty. Increases in uncertainty serve as a signal to update these expectations. The model predicts that expectations are revised more strongly and, thus, lending drops more under low uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Grimme & Steffen Henzel, 2020. "Increasing Business Uncertainty and Credit Conditions in Times of Low and High Uncertainty: Evidence from Firm-Level Survey Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 8791, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8791
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshy Easaw & Christian Grimme, 2021. "The Impact of Aggregate Uncertainty on Firm-Level Uncertainty," CESifo Working Paper Series 8934, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    uncertainty; financial frictions; bank lending; survey data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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