Bank Distress and Productivity of Borrowing Firms: Evidence from Japan
We investigate the effects of bank distress on productivity of borrowing firms using micro data on listed companies in Japanese manufacturing industry during the 1990s. We find some evidence suggesting that deterioration in financial health of banks, like a decline in capital-asset-ratio, decreased productivity of their borrowers during the period of FY1994-1996. Although huge nonperforming loans had been a serious problem in Japanese economy since the collapse of asset prices bubble in 1991, resolution of the problem was postponed during the early 1990s. The Japanese economy plunged into serious banking crisis from 1997 to 1999. Our finding is consistent with the hypothesis that forbearance lending by banks that was prevalent during the early 1990s lowered the aggregate productivity of the economy.
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