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Access to credit for Italian firms: new evidence from the ISTAT confidence business surveys


  • Costa, Stefano
  • Malgarini, Marco
  • Margani, Patrizia


The paper aims at investigating on the credit conditions experienced by Italian firms during the recent business cycle. In doing so, we use a novel dataset on firms’ opinions derived from the ISTAT Business Confidence surveys. The dataset allows us to add to existing literature in three different ways: first of all, the availability of a very rich set of information on firms' perceptions enables us to study a number of factors possibly influencing credit conditions at the firm level; secondly, the analysis may be extended beyond the Manufacturing sector, considering also the Construction, Retail and Services sectors; thirdly, the high frequency of the data helps in shedding light into the most recent period following the sovereign debt crisis, for which available evidence is still scarce. Starting from these considerations, three different panel data model are estimated, relating the probability of being credit constrained to various individual characteristics of the firms and of the sector in which they operate. Obtaining credit for Italian firms results to be easier in the North and being a Medium-Large firm. Moreover, access to credit is also found to crucially depend on individual credit worthiness; in Manufacturing, productive internationalization is found to have a negative effect on access to credit. Over time, credit conditions are particularly negative during the financial crisis, progressively recovering in 2009-2010. A new deterioration has been perceived by Italian firms since mid-2011, with the emerging of the sovereign debt crisis; this assessment is progressively translating into an effective credit rationing towards the end of last year and in the first months of 2012.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa, Stefano & Malgarini, Marco & Margani, Patrizia, 2012. "Access to credit for Italian firms: new evidence from the ISTAT confidence business surveys," MPRA Paper 41389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41389

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wei Ding & Domac, Ilker & Ferri, Giovanni, 1998. "Is there a credit crunch in East Asia?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1959, The World Bank.
    2. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Detragiache, Enrica & Rajan, Raghuram, 2008. "The real effect of banking crises," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 89-112, January.
    3. Borensztein, Eduardo & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2002. "Financial crisis and credit crunch in Korea: evidence from firm-level data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 853-875, May.
    4. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Laeven, Luc & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2006. "The determinants of financing obstacles," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 932-952, October.
    5. Andrea F. Presbitero & Gregory F. Udell & Alberto Zazzaro, 2014. "The Home Bias and the Credit Crunch: A Regional Perspective," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(s1), pages 53-85, February.
    6. Domac, Ilker & Ferri, Giovanni, 1998. "The real impact of financial shocks : evidence from the Republic of Korea," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2010, The World Bank.
    7. Marco Malgarini & Patrizia Margani & Bianca Maria Martelli, 2005. "New Design of the ISAE Manufacturing Survey," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2005(1), pages 125-142.
    8. de Bondt, Gabe & Maddaloni, Angela & Peydró, José-Luis & Scopel, Silvia, 2010. "The euro area Bank Lending Survey matters: empirical evidence for credit and output growth," Working Paper Series 1160, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriel Felbermayr & Gilbert Spiegel, 2014. "A Simple Theory of Trade, Finance and Firm Dynamics," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 253-274, May.
    2. Benedikt Heid, 2014. "Essays on International Trade and Development," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 55, April.

    More about this item


    panel data; business surveys; credit crunch;

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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