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The Real Side of the Financial Crisis: Banks' Exposure, Flight to Quality and Firms' Investment Rate



The paper takes advantage of the Italian experience in the Lehman crisis to test the effects of banking shocks on the real decisions of client firms. The analysis exploits plant-level data and models the magnitude of the shock with banks' pre-crisis holding of Dollar-denominated assets and liabilities. After controlling for demand conditions I document the existence of a bank-lending channel affecting the investment rate, the amount of borrowing, and the probability of financial constraints of client firms. This transmission mechanism is characterized by a flight to quality away from risky borrowers, with stronger effects for undercapitalized and illiquid banks or financial institutions that depend more upon bank-based sources of finance.

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  • Emanuele Brancati, 2013. "The Real Side of the Financial Crisis: Banks' Exposure, Flight to Quality and Firms' Investment Rate," CEIS Research Paper 302, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 20 Mar 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:302

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    More about this item


    Financial crises; banks; lending; investment; flight to quality; financial constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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