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A firm-level analysis of small and medium size enterprise financing in Poland

  • Klapper, Leora
  • Sarria-Allende, Virginia
  • Zaidi, Rida

The authors test competing theories of capital structure choices using firm-level data on firm borrowings. The majority of firms in the dataset are privately owned, young, micro or small and medium enterprise (SME) firms concentrated in the service sector. In general, the financing pattern of firms is low leverage ratios and, in particular, low levels of intermediated financing and long-term financing. Average firm growth rates decreased during the five years of the sample period. Average profitability growth ratios are also negative across age and sectors and large firms have the highest negative profit growth rates. Statistical tests find a positive firm size effect on financial intermediation. Larger firms have higher leverage ratios (both short term and long term), including higher use of trade credit. There is also a negative influence of profitability on leverage ratios (more profitable firms use less external financing), which supports the"pecking order"theory that in environments with greater asymmetric information (such as weaker credit information) firms prefer to use internal or inter-firm financing. Finally, firms operating in a competitive environment have higher leverage ratios. For instance, young, small firms are the most active employment generators in the Polish economy. In particular, the authors find that although SMEs seem to be very active in creating jobs in recent years. This suggests that a new type of firm is emerging that is more market and profit-oriented. But at the same time, these firms appear to have financial constraints that impede their growth. Improvements in the business environment, such as better credit and registry information, could help promote growth in this sector.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3984.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3984
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  1. Valentijn Bilsen & Jozef Konings, 1997. "Job Creation, Job Destruction and Growth of Newly Established, Privatized and State-Owned Enterprises in Transition Economies: Survey Evidence from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 106, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  4. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2002. "Funding growth in bank-based and market-based financial systems: evidence from firm-level data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 337-363, September.
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  12. E.C. Perotti & O. Carare, 1997. "The Evolution of Bank Credit Quality in Transition: Theory and Evidence from Romania," CERT Discussion Papers 9702, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
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  15. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-81, July.
  16. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
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