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The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Small Business


  • Michael D. Bordo
  • John V. Duca


There are concerns that the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) has impeded small business lending. By increasing the fixed regulatory compliance requirements needed to make business loans and operate a bank, the DFA disproportionately reduced the incentives for all banks to make very modest loans and reduced the viability of small banks, whose small-business share of C&I loans is generally much higher than that of larger banks. Despite an economic recovery, the small loan share of C&I loans at large banks and banks with $300 or more million in assets has fallen by 9 percentage points since the DFA was passed in 2010, with the magnitude of the decline twice as large at small banks. Controlling for cyclical effects and bank size, we find that these declines in the small loan share of C&I loans are almost all statistically attributed to the change in regulatory regime. Examining Federal Reserve survey data, we find evidence that the DFA prompted a relative tightening of bank credit standards on C&I loans to small versus large firms, consistent with the DFA inducing a decline in small business lending through loan supply effects. We also empirically model the pace of business formation, finding that it had downshifted around the time when the DFA and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act were announced. Timing patterns suggest that business formation has more recently ticked higher, coinciding with efforts to provide regulatory relief to smaller banks via modifying rules implementing the DFA. The upturn contrasts with the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which appears to persistently restrain business formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Bordo & John V. Duca, 2018. "The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Small Business," NBER Working Papers 24501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24501
    Note: ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kelsey Reichow, 2017. "Small-Business Lending Languishes as Community Banking Weakens," Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vol. 12(3), pages 1-4, February.
    2. Bordo, Michael D. & Duca, John V. & Koch, Christoffer, 2016. "Economic policy uncertainty and the credit channel: Aggregate and bank level U.S. evidence over several decades," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 90-106.
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    5. Tyler Atkinson & John V. Duca, 2017. "Equity Regulation and U.S. Venture Capital Investment," Working Papers 1707, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    6. Alon, Titan & Berger, David & Dent, Robert & Pugsley, Benjamin, 2018. "Older and slower: The startup deficit’s lasting effects on aggregate productivity growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 68-85.
    7. Gornall, Will & Strebulaev, Ilya A., 2015. "The Economic Impact of Venture Capital: Evidence from Public Companies," Research Papers 3362, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bindal, Shradha & Bouwman, Christa H.S. & Hu, Shuting (Sophia) & Johnson, Shane A., 2020. "Bank regulatory size thresholds, merger and acquisition behavior, and small business lending," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    2. Jean‐Noël Barrot & Ramana Nanda, 2020. "The Employment Effects of Faster Payment: Evidence from the Federal Quickpay Reform," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(6), pages 3139-3173, December.
    3. De Vos, Ignace & Everaert, Gerdie & Sarafidis, Vasilis, 2021. "A method for evaluating the rank condition for CCE estimators," MPRA Paper 112305, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Mar 2022.
    4. Sebastian Doerr, 2019. "Unintended side effects: stress tests, entrepreneurship, and innovation," BIS Working Papers 823, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. van der Plaat, Mark & Spierdijk, Laura, 2020. "Recourse, asymmetric information, and credit risk over the business cycle," MPRA Paper 104718, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Nguyen, Thach Vu Hong & Ahmed, Shamim & Chevapatrakul, Thanaset & Onali, Enrico, 2020. "Do stress tests affect bank liquidity creation?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    7. Ginette Eramo & Roberto Felici & Paolo Finaldi Russo & Federico Signoretti, 2018. "How slow is the recovery of loans to firms in Italy?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 469, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Seghezza, Elena & Morelli, Pierluigi, 2020. "Why the money multiplier has remained persistently so low in the post-crisis United States?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 309-317.
    9. Gamble, Edward & Caton, Gary & Aujogue, Kelig & Lee, Yen Teik, 2020. "Problems with crisis intervention: When the government wants to restrain big banks but punishes small businesses instead," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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