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Family Firms, Soft Information and Bank Lending in a Financial Crisis

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This paper studies how access to bank lending differed between family and non-family firms in the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The theoretical prediction is that family block-holders’ incentive structure results in lower agency conflict in the borrower-lender relationship. Using highly detailed data on bank-firm relations, we exploit the reduction in bank lending in Italy following the crisis in October 2008. We find statistically and economically significant evidence that the contraction in credit for family firms was smaller than that for non-family firms. Results are robust to ex-ante observable differences between the two types of firms and to time-varying bank fixed effects. We further show that the difference in the amount of credit granted to family and non-family firms is related to an increased role for soft information in Italian banks’ operations, following the Lehman Brothers’ failure. Finally, by identifying a match between those banks and family firms, we can control for time-varying unobserved heterogeneity among the firms and validate the hypothesis that our results are supply driven.

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  • Leandro D’Aurizio & Tommaso Oliviero & Livio Romano, 2014. "Family Firms, Soft Information and Bank Lending in a Financial Crisis," CSEF Working Papers 357, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:357
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Cucculelli & Valentina Peruzzi & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "Relational capital in lending relationships: Evidence from European family firms," CERBE Working Papers wpC12, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    2. Dorothea Schäfer & Andreas Stephan & Jenniffer Solórzano Mosquera, 2017. "Family ownership: does it matter for funding and success of corporate innovations?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 931-951, April.
    3. Giovanni Ferri & Pierluigi Murro & Valentina Peruzzi & Zeno Rotondi, 2017. "Bank lending technologies and credit availability in Europe. What can we learn from the crisis?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 135, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    4. Aghion, Philippe & Bloom, Nicholas & Lucking, Brian & Sadun, Raffaella & Van Reenen, John, 2017. "Turbulence, Firm Decentralization and Growth in Bad Times," IZA Discussion Papers 10706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Catherine Refait-Alexandre & Stéphanie Serve, 2015. "« Multiple banking relationships: do SMEs mistrust their banks? »," Post-Print hal-01450968, HAL.
    6. Díaz-Díaz, Nieves Lidia & García-Teruel, Pedro J. & Martínez-Solano, Pedro, 2016. "Debt maturity structure in private firms: Does the family control matter?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 393-411.
    7. Valentina Peruzzi, 2015. "Family firms' access to bank lending: Evidence from Italy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(3), pages 1874-1885.
    8. Arrondo-García, Rubén & Fernández-Méndez, Carlos & Menéndez-Requejo, Susana, 2016. "The growth and performance of family businesses during the global financial crisis: The role of the generation in control," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 227-237.
    9. A. Arrighetti & F. Landini & A. Lasagni, 2016. "Swimming Upstream Throughout the Turmoil: Evidence on Firm Growth During the Great Recession," Economics Department Working Papers 2016-EP04, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    10. Ge, Wenxia & Kim, Jeong-Bon & Li, Tiemei & Li, Yutao, 2016. "Offshore operations and bank loan contracting: Evidence from firms that set up subsidiaries in offshore financial centers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 335-355.
    11. Marco Cucculelli & Valentina Peruzzi & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "Relational capital in lending relationships: Evidence from European family firms," CERBE Working Papers wpC12, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    12. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:43:p:4378-4393 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Pierluigi Murro & Valentina Peruzzi, 2017. "Family firms and access to credit. Is family ownership beneficial?," CERBE Working Papers wpC23, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    14. repec:eee:corfin:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:461-476 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Valentina Peruzzi, 2017. "Does family ownership structure affect investment-cash flow sensitivity? Evidence from Italian SMEs," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(43), pages 4378-4393, September.
    16. Bennedsen, Morten & Fan, Joseph P.H. & Jian, Ming & Yeh, Yin-Hua, 2015. "The family business map: Framework, selective survey, and evidence from Chinese family firm succession," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 212-226.
    17. Stacchini, Massimiliano & Degasperi, Petra, 2015. "Trust, family businesses and financial intermediation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 293-316.
    18. Giovanni Ferri & Pierluigi Murro & Marco Pini, 2017. "Credit Rationing and the Relationship Between Family Businesses and Banks in Italy," CERBE Working Papers wpC24, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.

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    Keywords

    Family firms; Financial crisis; Soft information; Bank lending;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • 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
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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