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Equity gap? - Which equity gap? On the financing structure of Germany's Mittelstand

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  • Bannier, Christina E.
  • Grote, Michael H.

Abstract

This paper examines the financing structure of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany and questions whether an equity gap - or, more generally, a financing gap -exists. Reviewing the literature and available data sources, we find that financing constraints seem to affect, if at all, only a very small subgroup among highly growth-oriented firms. We do not detect any structural problems in average SME's capital structure. Rather, German Mittelstand firms appear to be non-growth oriented and content with their financing decisions. While the relationship-based German banking system helps to minimize the risk of credit rationing, trade credit offers an additional, stable form of liquidity insurance. Highly innovative firms with strong growth potential, on the other hand, do seize the opportunity to tap unconventional means of financing (e.g. mezzanine capital) and appear very successful in doing so.

Suggested Citation

  • Bannier, Christina E. & Grote, Michael H., 2008. "Equity gap? - Which equity gap? On the financing structure of Germany's Mittelstand," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 106, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2005. "(How) Do Stock Market Returns React to Monetary Policy? - An ARDL Cointegration Analysis for Germany," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 253/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
    2. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2007. "How the ECB and the US Fed set interest rates," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(17), pages 2197-2209.
    3. Hirsch, Christian & Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "The economics of rating watchlists: Evidence from rating changes," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    4. Wollersheim, Jutta & Barthel, Erich, 2008. "Kulturunterschiede bei Mergers & Acquisitions: Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur Durchführung einer Cultural Due Diligence," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 94, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equity gap; capital structure; financing gap; financing structure; SME;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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