IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Credit constraints and business performance: evidence from public lending in Colombia


  • Marcela Eslava
  • Alessandro Maffioli
  • Marcela Meléndez


Whether public lending to firms effectively eases credit constraints has been widely studied for very small businesses. The evidence documented for larger firms refers to lending that is significantly subsidized and targeted to these businesses, so the estimated positive effects may reflect poor allocation of public credit. This paper investigates the impact on its beneficiaries of a wide, untargeted and unsubsidized, lending program in Colombia. We use data on all non-micro manufacturing firms and all formal credit operations. After correcting for potential selection biases using econometric techniques, we find that Bancóldex loans increase firms’ employment, purchases of inputs, investment, and output for small (but non-micro) firms, while large firms experience increases in variable inputs, but not on investment. While both short-term and long-term Bancóldex loans are found to have positive impacts on output, input demand and employment, only long-term loans increase investment. Moreover, short-term loans have a larger impact on input demand than long-term loans. Our findings also indicate that Bancóldex’ beneficiaries end up with improved overall credit conditions after receiving Bancóldex credit: the amount of credit received goes up, the duration of the loans increases, and beneficiaries are able to establish credit relationships with more financial intermediaries. Though the interest rates go down, in this dimension the effect is small.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcela Eslava & Alessandro Maffioli & Marcela Meléndez, 2014. "Credit constraints and business performance: evidence from public lending in Colombia," Documentos CEDE 12277, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:012277

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shawn Cole, 2009. "Fixing Market Failures or Fixing Elections? Agricultural Credit in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-250, January.
    2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2014. "Do Firms Want to Borrow More? Testing Credit Constraints Using a Directed Lending Program," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 81(2), pages 572-607.
    3. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
    4. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
    5. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
    6. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Returns to Capital and Access to Finance in Mexico," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 22(3), pages 457-482, November.
    7. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Credit and Efficiency in Centralized and Decentralized Economies," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 62(4), pages 541-555.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aparicio, Gabriela & Bobic, Vida & De Olloqui, Fernando & Carmen, María & Diez, María Carmen Fernández & Gerardino, Maria Paula & Mitnik, Oscar A. & Macedo, Sebastian Vargas, 2021. "Liquidity or Capital? The Impacts of Easing Credit Constraints in Rural Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 14477, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Juan Esteban Carranza & Jesús Antonio Bejarano Rojas & Camila Casas & Alejandra Ximena Gonzalez-Ramirez & Stefany Moreno-Burbano & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez & Juan Sebastián Vélez-Velásquez, 2018. "La industria colombiana en el siglo XXI," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, issue 87, pages 1-69, November.
    3. Masahiro SEKINO & Wako WATANABE, 2017. "Does the Policy Lending of the Government Financial Institution Mitigate the Credit Crunch? Evidence from the Loan Level Data in Japan," ESRI Discussion paper series 342, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Busom, Isabel & Vélez-Ospina, Jorge Andrés, 2017. "Innovation, Public Support, and Productivity in Colombia. A Cross-industry Comparison," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 75-94.
    5. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Dimitris Christopoulos, 2016. "Misallocation, Access to Finance, and Public Credit: Firm-Level Evidence," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 33(2), pages 119-143, September.
    6. SEKINO Masahiro & WATANABE Wako, 2016. "Does the Policy Lending of a Government Financial Institution to Mitigate the Credit Crunch Improve Firm Performance? Evidence from loan level data in Japan," Discussion papers 16056, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Renate Strobl & Conny Wunsch, 2021. "Risky choices and solidarity: disentangling different behavioural channels," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1185-1214, December.
    2. Antonia Grohmann & Lukas Menkhoff & Helke Seitz, 2022. "The Effect of Personalized Feedback on Small Enterprises’ Finances in Uganda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(3), pages 1197-1227.
    3. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2009. "Finance and Inequality: Theory and Evidence," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 287-318, November.
    4. Aparicio, Gabriela & Bobic, Vida & De Olloqui, Fernando & Carmen, María & Diez, María Carmen Fernández & Gerardino, Maria Paula & Mitnik, Oscar A. & Macedo, Sebastian Vargas, 2021. "Liquidity or Capital? The Impacts of Easing Credit Constraints in Rural Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 14477, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Jevgenijs Steinbuks, 2008. "Financial constraints and firms' investment: results of a natural experiment measuring firm response to power interruption," Working Papers EPRG 0823, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    6. Aydin, Deniz & Kim, Olivia S., 2024. "Precautionary Debt Capacity," EconStor Preprints 281672, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    7. Bah, El-hadj M. & Cooper, Geoff, 2012. "Constraints to the Growth of Small Firms in Northern Myanmar," MPRA Paper 39819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Michael Knoblach & Fabian Stöckl, 2020. "What Determines The Elasticity Of Substitution Between Capital And Labor? A Literature Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 847-875, September.
    9. Michael Grimm & Simon Lange & Jann Lay, 2011. "Credit-constrained in risky activities? The determinants of capital stocks of micro and small firms in Western Africa," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 104, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    10. Shahidur R. Khandker & Hussain A. Samad & Rubaba Ali, 2013. "Does Access to Finance Matter in Microenterprise Growth? Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers 15, Institute of Microfinance (InM).
    11. Dodlova, Marina & Göbel, Kristin & Grimm, Michael & Lay, Jann, 2015. "Constrained firms, not subsistence activities: Evidence on capital returns and accumulation in Peruvian microenterprises," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 94-110.
    12. Karlan, Dean S. & Knight, Ryan & Udry, Christopher R., 2012. "Hoping to Win, Expected to Lose: Theory and Lessons on Micro Enterprise Development," Center Discussion Papers 133405, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    13. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2010. "Giving Credit Where It Is Due," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
    14. Erhardt, Eva, 2017. "Microfinance beyond self-employment: Evidence for firms in Bulgaria," MPRA Paper 79294, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Paula Bustos & Gabriel Garber & Jacopo Ponticelli, 2016. "Capital Allocation Across Sectors: Evidence from a Boom in Agriculture," Working Papers Series 414, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    16. Brei, Michael & Gadanecz, Blaise & Mehrotra, Aaron, 2020. "SME lending and banking system stability: Some mechanisms at work," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    17. repec:luc:wpaper:18-04 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Deb, Rahul & Suri, Tavneet, 2013. "Endogenous emergence of credit markets: Contracting in response to a new technology in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 268-283.
    19. Siba, Eyerusalem, 2015. "Returns to Physical Capital in Ethiopia: Comparative Analysis of Formal and Informal Firms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 215-229.
    20. Helke Seitz, 2017. "Microenterprises in Developing Countries: Is there Growth Potential?," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 114, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    21. Baylis, Kathy & Mallory, Mindy & Songsermsawas, Tisorn, 2015. "Effects of credit and market access on farm gate prices in India," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205434, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Credit constraints; public development banks; firm growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:col:000089:012277. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Universidad De Los Andes-Cede (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.