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Firm Age and the Evolution of Borrowing Costs: Evidence from Japanese Small Firms

  • Sakai, Koji
  • Uesugi, Iichiro
  • Watanabe, Tsutomu

This paper investigates how a firm's borrowing cost evolves as it ages. Using a new data set of more than 200,000 bank-dependent small firms for 1997-2002, we find the following. First, the distribution of borrowing costs tends to become less skewed to the right over time, which can be partially attributed to "selection" (i.e., exits of defaulting firms reduce the total borrowing costs), but is mainly explained by "adaptation" (i.e., surviving firms' borrowing costs decline as they age). Second, the selection process is natural in that firms with lower quality are separated, charged higher borrowing costs, and eventually forced to exit, which contrasts with the results of previous studies on Japan's credit misallocations, such as Peek and Rosengren (2005). Third, in the adaptation process, we find an age dependence of firms' borrowing costs even if we control for firm size.

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Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PIE/CIS Discussion Paper with number 354.

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Length: 32 p.
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:piecis:354
Note: First Draft: September 6, 2005; This Version: February 13, 2008
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