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Small business finance in Italy

  • Guiso, Luigi


    (University of Sassari)

Using survey data on Italian manufacturing firms, this paper examines firms' capital structure and their access to financial debt, notably bank loans. We find that the share of financial debt in total liabilities is, on average, smaller for small firms than for large ones. However, this is not because the typical small firm borrows less than a large firm, but because small firms are more likely not to borrow at all. For firms that do borrow, the share of financial debt varies little with firm size. The absence of financial debt on the balance sheet of many firms is mainly because they do not want to borrow, not because lenders do not want to lend. Thus, credit rationing does not appear to be a widespread phenomenon, but when it happens, lack of size and equity seems to play a key role.

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Paper provided by European Investment Bank, Economics Department in its series EIB Papers with number 10/2003.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 09 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:eibpap:2003_010
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  1. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  2. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Paradox of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
  4. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
  5. Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1992. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers 92-08, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
  7. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60.
  8. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-18, March.
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