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Heterogeneous Effects of Credit Constraints on SMEs’ Employment: Evidence from the Great Recession

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Listed:
  • Cornille, David
  • Rycx, François
  • Tojerow, Ilan

Abstract

This paper takes advantage of access to detailed matched bank-firm data to investigate whether and how employment decisions of SMEs have been affected by credit constraints in the wake of the Great Recession. Variability in banks’ financial health following the 2008 crisis is used as an exogenous determinant of firms’ access to credit. Findings, relative to the Belgian economy, clearly highlight that credit matters. They show that SMEs borrowing money from pre-crisis financially less healthy banks were significantly more likely to be affected by a credit constraint and, in turn, to adjust their labour input downwards than pre-crisis clients of more healthy banks. These results are robust across types of loan applications that were denied credit, i.e. applications to finance working capital, debt or new investments. Yet, estimates also show that credit constraints have been essentially detrimental for employment among SMEs experiencing a negative demand shock or facing strong product market competition. In terms of human resources management, credit constraints are not only found to foster employment adjustment at the extensive margin but also to increase the use of temporary layoff allowances for economic reasons. This outcome supports the hypothesis that short-time compensation programmes contribute to save jobs during recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornille, David & Rycx, François & Tojerow, Ilan, 2018. "Heterogeneous Effects of Credit Constraints on SMEs’ Employment: Evidence from the Great Recession," GLO Discussion Paper Series 169, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:169
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    SMEs; banks’ financial health; credit constraints; employment; short-time compensation programmes; Great Recession; matched bank-firm data;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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