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Financial and legal constraints to firm growth - Does size matter?

  • Beck, Thorsten
  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli
  • Maksimovic, Vojislav

Using a unique firm-level survey data base, covering fifty four countries, the authors investigate whether different financial, legal, and corruptionissues that firms report as constraints, actually affect their growth rates. The results show that the extent to which these factors constrain a firm's growth depends very much on its size, and that it is consistently the smallest firms that are most adversely affected by all these constraints. Firm growth is more affected by reported constraints in countries with underdeveloped financial, and legal systems, and higher corruption. So, policy measures to improve financial, and legal development, and reduce corruption are well justified in promoting firm growth, particularly the development of the small, and medium enterprise sector. But the evidence also shows that the intuitive descriptors of an"efficient"legal system, are not correlated with the components of the general legal constraints that predict firm growth. This finding suggests that the mechanism by which the legal system affects firm performance, is not well understood. The authors'findings also provide evidence that the corruption of bank officials, constraints firm growth. This"institutional failure"should be taken into account, when modeling the monitoring role of financial institutions in overcoming market failures due to informational asymmetries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2784.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2784
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  1. Love, Inessa, 2001. "Financial development and financing constraints - international evidence from the structural investment model," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2694, The World Bank.
  2. Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2000. "Financial markets and the allocation of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 187-214.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  4. Ball, Ray & Kothari, S. P. & Robin, Ashok, 2000. "The effect of international institutional factors on properties of accounting earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51, February.
  5. Carlin, Wendy & Mayer, Colin, 2003. "Finance, investment, and growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 191-226, July.
  6. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
  8. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  9. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
  10. Schiffer, M. & Weder, B., 2001. "Firm Size and the Business Environment: Worldwide Survey Results," Papers 43, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
  11. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 1999. "Institutions, financial markets, and firm debt maturity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 295-336, December.
  12. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2003. "Financial and legal institutions and firm size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2997, The World Bank.
  13. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Johnson, Simon & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Why do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity After Communism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. repec:fth:wobaco:1083 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Paolo Mauro, 1996. "The Effects of Corruptionon Growth, Investment, and Government Expenditure," IMF Working Papers 96/98, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2001. "Firms as financial intermediaries - evidence from trade credit data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2696, The World Bank.
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