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Credit, Financial Liberalization and Manufacturing Investment in Colombia

  • Maria Angelica Arbelaez
  • Juan Jose Echavarria

This paper evaluates the degree to which Colombian firms face credit restrictions that alter their investment decisions. It analyzes whether the evolution of the financial sector during the 1990s, characterized by an intense financial liberalization, an increase in size and a deepening of the activity, reduced the credit restrictions faced by firms and stimulated investment. The paper also explores whether, on the contrary, financial restrictions intensified during the recent 1998-2000 crisis. The paper provides empirical evidence suggesting that Colombian firms are indeed restricted by external resources and are compelled to resort to internal resources. The paper demonstrates that financial liberalization and the greater credit availability reduced such restrictions, and that the financial crisis had a strong and negative effect on investment and its financing. It compares the behavior of different groups of firms: (i) firms belonging to conglomerates vs. non-conglomerates, and (ii) firms with direct foreign investment vs. domestic firms. It shows that both groups face fewer financial restrictions and that they benefited less from financial liberalization. Finally, the paper evaluates the effects of indebtedness; the results suggest firms acquire debt before investing and/or that the acquired debt in the past serves as a sign of good credit history for the acquisition of new resources.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3145.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3145
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