|January 2020, VOL 26:1||March 2020, VOL 26:2||June 2020, VOL 26:3||September 2020, VOL 26:4|
European Financial Management, VOL 26:1, January 2020
F. Y. Eric C. Lam, Ya Li, Wikrom Prombutr, K. C. John Wei
This study comprehensively reexamines the debate over behavioral and rational explanations for the investment effect in an updated sample. We closely follow the previous literature and provide several differences. Our tests include five prominent measures of corporate investment and corporate profitability in q‐theory and recent investment‐based asset pricing models. Both classical and Bayesian inferences show that limits‐to‐arbitrage tend to be supported by more evidence than investment frictions for all investment measures. When idiosyncratic volatility and cash flow volatility are used in measuring investment frictions, the inference is more favorable for the rational explanation.
Keywords: Limits-to-arbitrage; Investment frictions; q-theory; Investment, Stock returns
JEL Classification: G14, G31, G32, M41, M42
Luc Renneboog, Yang Zhao
This paper analyzes the labor market (turnover and appointments) of executive and non-executive directors by means of social network methodology. We find that directors with strong networks are able to obtain labor market information that enables them to leave their firm more easily for better opportunities. Networks also mitigate information asymmetry problems of external director appointments. Furthermore, the strong impact of indirect connections is in line with the ‘strength of the weak ties’ theory. The fact that direct connections are less important signifies that the connections to people that are close and local are likely to convey redundant information, whereas connections to distant individuals are more efficient in terms of information acquisition and labor market performance improvement.
Keywords: Corporate Governance; Director Networks; Director Turnover; Director
JEL Classification: G34, J4, L14
John Bae, Wonik Choi, Jongha Lim
We examine the way a fraudulent firm's pre‐ and post‐misconduct corporate social responsibility engagement is associated with its stock performance to investigate the reputational role of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In the short term, firms with good CSR performance suffer smaller market penalties upon the revelation of financial wrongdoing, supporting the buffer effect, as opposed to the backfire effect, of a good social image. We also find that the misbehaving firms’ post‐misconduct CSR efforts are negatively associated with delisting probabilities, and positively with stock returns. These findings support the argument that increasing post‐crisis CSR engagement can be an effective remedy for a damaged reputation
JEL Classification: TBA
Mark Shackleton, Jiali Yan, Yaqiong Yao
Our study is among the first to examine the net asset value (NAV) inflation practices of fund managers in China, finding that equity funds bolster their portfolios at quarter‐end and especially year‐end. In support of the NAV inflation hypothesis in China, we further document the following: (1) NAV inflation is more profound for the worst‐performing fund managers; and (2) the stocks in which fund managers hold larger stakes exhibit a more marked pattern of price inflation around quarter‐ and year‐ends than do other stocks. We also find that closed‐end funds in China engage in NAV inflation at quarter‐ and year‐ends.
JEL Classification: TBA
I‐Ju Chen, Yu‐Yi Lee, Yong‐Chin Liu
We investigate the empirical relationship between macroeconomic risk, bank liquidity, and bank risk surrounding the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act. We propose that bank risk and liquidity are positively related as macroeconomic risk increases, and that this effect is particularly strong after the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA). We test our hypotheses by collecting data from 1994 to 2006 for banks in the United States. The results show that banks flush with liquid assets in a high macroeconomic risk environment conducted more lending activities following the enactment of the GLBA, leading to higher bank risk. Our study complements the understanding of bank liquidity management.
JEL Classification: TBA
Andrei Bolshakov, Ludwig B. Chincarini
Investment managers often manage a portfolio with respect to a benchmark. Typ- ically, they use a mean-variance optimization framework to maximize the information ratio of their portfolio. We develop an unconventional approach to this question. Given a set of assumptions, we ask what optimal percentage of the benchmark stocks should the portfolio manager select. This optimal portfolio depends on Fisher’s and Walle- nius’s noncentral hypergeometric distribution. We find that the optimal selectivity of a benchmark universe varies from 50% to 80%. These results are provocative, given that many enhanced index portfolio managers select a low percentage of the benchmark universe.
Keywords: Enhanced indexing, information ratio, portfolio management, active man- agement.
JEL Classification: G0, G13
Stefania Cosci, Roberto Guida, Valentina Meliciani
The European Union introduced a directive aimed at reducing trade credit due to its supposedly negative effect on the European economy. This contrasts with the redistribution view arguing that trade credit could facilitate the financing of credit-constrained firms by more liquid suppliers. But does trade credit mainly flow from relatively unconstrained suppliers to more financially constrained buyers? To answer this question, we look at the characteristics of net borrowers with respect to net lenders and then estimate the substitutability between trade and bank debt separately for the two groups of firms. Overall, the results show that, in Italy, efficient redistribution does not tend to prevail in the trade credit market
Keywords: Trade credit; redistribution view; financial constraints; substitutability.
JEL Classification: G32; G21; D82
Yuecheng Jia, Ivilina Popova, Betty Simkins, Qin Emma Wang
This literature review outlines the recent progress in fundamental second and higher moments research. We survey the moments’ existence, formation, and financial market andmacroeconomic implications. Research shows that time-varying volatility and non-Gaussian shocks exist throughout all measures of fundamentals at both the micro and macro levels.Additionally, the granular network among firms helps explain the origin of fundamental second and higher moments. Empirical evidence shows that the moments have strong predictive power on asset prices and macroeconomic variables. We also highlight several areas wheremore research is needed to better understand the moments.
Keywords:Fundamental second moments, Fundamental higher moments, time-varying volatility, non-Gaussian shocks, granular network
JEL Classification: G12
Fearghal Kearney, Han Lin Shang
Accurately forecasting the price of oil, the world’s most actively traded commodity, is of great importance to both academics and practitioners. We contribute by proposing a functional time series based method to model and forecast oil futures. Our approach boasts a number of theoretical and practical advantages including effectively exploiting underlying process dynamics missed by classical discrete approaches. We evaluate the finite-sample performance against established benchmarks using a model confidence set test. A realistic out-of-sample exercise provides strong support for the adoption of our approach with it residing in the superior set of models in all considered instances.
Keywords: Crude oil, Forecasting, Functional time series, Futures contracts, Futures markets
JEL Classification: G10, G15, C53
European Financial Management, VOL 26:2, March 2020
Lara Cathcart, Nina M. Gotthelf, Matthias Uhl, Yining Shi
We explore the impact of media content on sovereign credit risk. Our measure of media tone is extracted from the Thomson Reuters News Analytics database. As a proxy for sovereign credit risk we consider credit default swap (CDS) spreads, which are decomposed into their risk premium and default risk components. We find that media tone explains and predicts CDS returns and is a mixture of noise and information. Its effect on risk premium induces a temporary change in investors’ appetite for credit risk exposure, whereas its impact on the default component leads to reassessments of the fundamentals of sovereign economies.
Keywords: CDS, sovereign risk, credit risk premium, media tone
JEL Classification: G12; G15.
Allen Michel, Jacob Oded, Israel Shaked
This article analyzes the effect of computer breaches on publicly traded equities from 2005 to 2017. An event study is performed and breaches analyzed conditioned on whether the breach announcement has been made in the mainstream media or through other channels. We find that in the period prior to the announcement date in the media, the mean abnormal return is negative, reflecting a likely leakage of information. In the period following the announcement date, the mean abnormal return is positive, often more than offsetting the previous declines. The findings have important implications for analysts, portfolio managers, institutional investors, and regulators.
Yigit Atilgan, K. Ozgur Demirtas, A. Doruk Gunaydin
This study reexamines the relation between downside beta and equity returns in the U.S. First, we replicate Ang, Chen and Xing (2006) who find a positive relation between downside beta and future equity returns for equal-weighted portfolios of NYSE stocks. We show that this relation doesn’t hold after using value-weighted returns or controlling for various return determinants. We also extend the original sample, add AMEX/NASDAQ stocks or utilize alternative downside beta measures and still find no downside risk premium. We focus on factor analysis results, persistence of downside beta and various subsamples to understand the economic reasons behind the findings.
Keywords:downside beta, downside risk, tail risk, equity returns, asset pricing
JEL Classification: G10, G11, G12
Charles Ward, Chao Yin, Yeqin Zeng
We find that motivated monitoring by institutional investors mitigates firm in- vestment inefficiency, estimated by Richardson’s (2006) approach. This relation is robust when using the annual reconstitution of the Russell indexes as exogenous shocks to institutional ownership during the period 1995–2015 and after classifying institutional ownership by institution type. We also show that closer monitoring mitigates the problem of both over-investing free cash flows and under-investment due to managers’ career concerns. Finally, we document that the effectiveness of the monitoring by institutional investors appears to increase monotonically with respect to the firm’s relative importance in their portfolios.
Keywords:Institutional investors; Investment efficiency; Monitoring attention; Agency problem; Index switch
JEL Classification: G23; G30; G31; M4
Lorenzo Caprio, Alfonso Del Giudice, Andrea Signori
We investigate the cash holdings policy of family firms and examine potential value implications. Family firms hold more cash than other firms, with an average difference of 2.3% of total assets. This result is driven by firms managed by heir CEOs. While the cash holdings policy of first-generation family firms is more sensitive to firm risk, consistent with founders’ increased risk aversion, that of later-generation firms is more sensitive to information asymmetry and agency conflicts. Heir CEOs’ cash policies destroy value, as the marginal value of an additional euro suffers from a 38.3-cent discount, on average, relative to non-family firms.
Keywords:cash holdings, family firms, value of cash, family generation
JEL Classification: G30; G32; G35
Francesca Arnaboldi, Barbara Casu, Elena Kalotychou, Anna Sarkisyan
We examine the impact of governance reforms related to board diversity on the performance of European Union banks. Using a difference‐in‐difference approach, we document that reforms increase bank stock returns and their volatility within the first 3 years after their enactment. The type of reform matters, with quotas increasing return volatility. The effectiveness of reforms depends on a country’sinstitutionalenvironment.Theimpactofreforms on return volatility is found to be beneficial in countries moreopentodiversity, withcommonlaw system and with greater economic freedom. Finally, reforms play a bigger role in banks that have ex ante less heterogeneous boards.
Keywords:bank performance, board diversity reforms, corporate governance codes
JEL Classification: G21; G30
Feng Dong, John A. Doukas
Does fund management skill allow managers to identify mispriced securities more accurately and thereby make better portfolio choices resulting in superior fund performance when noise trading – a natural setting to detect skill – is more prevalent? We find skilled fund managers with superior past performance to generate persistent excess risk‐adjusted returns and experience significant capital inflows, especially in high sentiment times, high stock dispersion, and economic expansion states when price signals are noisier. This pattern persists after we control for lucky bias, using the ‘false discovery rate’ approach, which permits disentangling manager ‘skill’ from ‘luck.’
Yuanchen Chang, Yi‐Ting Hsieh, Wenchien Liu, Peter Miu
How does bankruptcy contagion propagate among industry peers? We study the debt recovery channel of industry contagion by examining whether the cost of a company’s debt is affected by the observed recovery rates of its bankrupt industry peers. Our results show that lower industry recovery rates are associated with higher loan spreads, but only when the contracts were originated during industry bankruptcy waves. Consistent with the debt recovery channel of industry contagion, we find that the negative effects of industry recovery rates are significantly stronger under situations where the effect is expected to be more salient..
Keywords: Industry contagion, Recovery rate, Loan pricing, Debt recovery channel
JEL Classification: G30, G33.
European Financial Management, VOL 26:3, June 2020
Forecasting Recoveries in Debt Collection: Debt Collectors and Information Production
Johannes Kriebel and Kevin Yam
Recent theoretical work suggests that debt collection agencies play an important role in gathering and processing debt or information. We study a comprehensive data set with information provided by original creditors and information gathered in third-party debt collection. In line with the theoretical results, the initial information is sparse and the gathered information is essential for better-informed predictions.
Keywords: Loss given default, recovery rate, debt collection.
JEL Classification: G21, G22, G29, G3
Ownership Ties, Conflict of Interest, and the Tone of News
Emanuele Bajo, Marco Bigelli, Carlo Raimondo
This paper investigates the tone newspapers use in reporting information on a company that is linked with through an ownership tie. Our empirical setting is Italy, a country characterized by dominant national industrial groups’ high ownership of newspapers. Based on a sample of about 123,000 articles, we document that newspapers’ coverage of firms in conflict of interest is greater, with significantly fewer negative and uncertain words. We also document that the slant increases with ownership stakes and decreases with the newspaper’s reputation.
Keywords: Media; ownership structure; conflict of interest.
JEL Classification: G32; L26
Idiosyncratic Momentum and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns: New Evidence
In this paper, we evaluate the profitability and economic source of the predictive power of the idiosyncratic momentum effect, by using five popular factor models to construct idiosyncratic momentum. We show that all five idiosyncratic momentum strategies produce similar return predictability and consistently outperform the conventional momentum strategy in the cross-sectional pricing of equity portfolios and individual stocks. This positive effect of idiosyncratic momentum on returns is consistent with the investment capital asset pricing model (CAPM). Further analysis reveals that the firm-level idiosyncratic momentum effect cannot extend to the aggregate stock market.
Keywords:Idiosyncratic momentum, Asset pricing, The investment CAPM, Market return predictability
Credit Risk, Owner Liability and Bank Loan Maturities During the Global Financial Crisis
Fabio Dias Duarte, Ana Paula Matias Gama and Mohamed Azzim Gulamhussen
We relate credit risk and owners’ personal guarantees to bank loan maturities during the global financial crisis. The findings, which remain robust to reverse causality, show that firms rated as low risk, with a strong relationship with the bank, whose owners provided personal guarantees and with large loan sizes obtained longer maturities. Banks with larger nonperforming loans provided loans with shorter maturities. Firms with low and high risk ratings that provided owners’ personal guarantees obtained longer maturities. These findings shed additional light on the relationship between risk and loan maturities and the role of personal guarantees in reducing information asymmetries.
Keywords: : Small firm financing; Financial crisis; Government policy and regulation; Banks
JEL Classification: D82; G01; G18; G20
Do Bankers on the Board Reduce Crash Risk?
Min Jung Kang, Y. Han (Andy) Kim and Qunfeng Liao
Commercial banker-directors (CBDs) bring both financial expertise in risk management and conflicts of interest between shareholders and debtholders. The burgeoning literature on stock price crash risk generates important questions of whether CBDs reduce crash risk. Using BoardEx data from 1999 to 2009, we find supporting evidence that the firms with CBDs experience lower stock price crash risk. Moreover, the reduction of crash risk is more pronounced for high-risk firms under the monitoring of affiliated banker-directors (ABDs). The results of this study are robust to the Heckman selection model, propensity score matching, and alternative measures of crash risk.
Keywords: banker-directors, crash risk, agency cost, corporate governance, firm risk
JEL Classification: G14, G30, M40
Does Market Power Discipline CEO Power? An Agency Perspective
Anutchanat Jaroenjitrkam, Chia-Feng (Jeffrey) Yu, and Ralf Zurbruegg.
We examine how product market competition (PMC) shapes CEO power. Using various measures to capture both PMC and CEO power, our analyses, which includes a quasi-natural experiment, finds evidence that CEOs have less power when the product market is more competitive. Furthermore, the impact of PMC on CEO power is more pronounced for firms where management are entrenched, where there is lower CEO ownership and lower analyst coverage, and for firms experiencing good “luck” (windfall performance). Our results suggest that market power can act as a substitute for corporate governance in disciplining CEO power, particularly when prone to agency problems.
Keywords: CEO power, market competition, corporate governance, luck
JEL Classification: D22, G34, M52
Social Media Bots and Stock Markets
Rui Fan, Oleksandr Talavera, and Vu Tran
This study examines the link between information spread by social media bots and stock trading. Based on a large sample of tweets mentioning 55 companies in the FTSE 100 composites, we find significant relations between bot tweets and stock returns, volatility, and trading volume at both daily and intraday levels. These results are also confirmed by an event study of stock response following abnormal increases in tweets volume. The findings are robust to various specifications including controlling for traditional news channel, alternative measures of volatility, information flows in pre-trading hours, and different measures of sentiment.
Keywords: Social media bots, investor sentiment, noise traders, text classification, computational linguistics
JEL Classification: G12, G14, L86
Consumption, Asset Wealth, Equity Premium, Term Spread and Flight to Quality
Mauro Costantini and Ricardo Sousa
We link transitory deviations of consumption from its equilibrium relationship with aggregate wealth and labor income and: i) equity returns; and two characteristics of bond investors, ii) the premium demanded to hold long-term assets; and iii) the “ﬂight to quality” behavior. Using a panel of 10 euro area countries over the period 1984Q1-2017Q4, we show that a rise in the consumption-wealth ratio predicts both higher equity returns and the future term spread, while a fall in the consumption-wealth ratio explains a large fraction of the rise in the spread between the “risky” and the “safe-haven” bond.
Keywords: consumption, asset wealth, labor income, term premium, ﬂight to quality, panel data
JEL Classification: C33, E21, E44, D12.
Does Individualistic Culture Impact Operational Risk?
Zhe (Andrew) An, Zhe Cao, Zhian Chen and Donghui Li
Employing a sample of 2957 operational-risk events across 31 countries from 1990 to 2011, we find that financial institutions located in countries with higher individualism tend to have higher operational risk. This positive relation is achieved through the risk-taking channel and the earnings-management channel. In addition, the magnitude of operational losses is higher in more individualistic countries. The results suggest that individualism serves as an important informal institutional determinant of operational risk in an international context. Endogeneity tests and various robustness checks confirm our findings.
Keywords: Operational Risk, Individualism, National Culture
JEL Classification: G20, G32, G15
European Financial Management, VOL 26:4, September 2020
Banks’ Home-Bias in Government Bonds Holdings. Will Banks in Low-Rated Countries Invest in European Safe Bonds (ESBies)?
This paper offers two new explanations for banks’ home bias in government bond holdings: a sovereign-based rating cap on corporates and the existence of a ‘bank tax’. These are complementary to the four explanations offered in the literature: risk shifting, gambling for resurrection, moral suasion, and a means to store liquidity for financing future investment. Collectively, they cast doubt on the European Union’s demand-led approach to investment in European safe bonds (ESBies) by banks in low-rated countries. Bank regulations such as constraints on large exposure or risk-based capital on credit risk concentration will be needed if the objective is to break the so-called “deadly embrace”.
Keywords: European banking, Bank regulation, Basel capital, Banks’ home-bias.
JEL Classification: F34, G21, G28
Trust, Regulation, and Contracting Institutions
Brandon N. Cline John “Nutie” and Edie Dowdle
This paper demonstrates that trust directly influences contracting efficiency. We document that trust reduces demand for contract regulation and positively relates to a high-quality contracting environment, supporting a substitution hypothesis. Furthermore, contract regulation no longer leads to poor contracting outcomes. These findings suggest that lack of trust significantly explains inefficient contracting institutions. Based on interaction effects, we note that trust could complement formal enforcement in countries with weak regulation. As regulation increases, trust substitutes for contract regulation. Overall, trust positively promotes efficient contracting by reducing burdensome regulation and providing an alternative to formal contract enforcement.
Keywords: Contract enforcement, efficiency, trust, regulation
JEL Classification: F2; O17; K2
Managerial Incentives for Attracting Attention
María Gutiérrez, Nino Papiashvilia, Josep A. Tribó Gine
This paper studies the mechanisms which motivate managers to engage in cheap talk and attract market’s attention in a credible way. We consider stock splits announcements, voluntary earnings forecasts and press releases issued by firms to the media as proxies for managerial cheap talk. We show that: (i) managerial performance-related pay contracts incentivize executives to attract attention; (ii) analysts increase their coverage of firms following cheap talk; (iii) chief executive officers are punished for attracting attention when market prices do not increase following cheap talk. The results are stronger for firms which are most in need for attention.
Keywords: Voluntary Disclosures, Attracting Attention, Cheap Talk, CEO Compensation, Managerial Incentives.
JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34
Why Do Stock Repurchases Change Over Time?
Yuan-Teng Hsu*, Chia-Wei Huang**
Recent studies have shown the time trends of firm stock repurchase behavior. We examine these time changes for stock repurchase through the lens of real activities earnings management. Managers appear more likely to manipulate earnings through stock repurchases since the passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002. Furthermore, suspect firms that just missed analyst earnings per share forecasts have higher incentives to manipulate earnings through stock repurchases. The results are not driven by changes in corporate governance associated with the passage of SOX. Overall, our results suggest earnings management can be a significant determinant of the dynamics of stock repurchases.
Keywords: Stock repurchase, earnings management, Sarbanes–Oxley Act
JEL Classification: G18; G31; G35; G38
Keeping it Real or Keeping it Simple? Ownership Concentration Measures Compared
Taylan Mavruk,Conny Overland,Stefan Sjogren.
We analyze the distributional properties of ownership concentration measures and find that measures come from different underlying statistical distributions. Consistent with theory, some measures that are classified to represent a monitoring dimension have a positive influence on firm performance; other measures that are interpreted to represent a shareholder conflict dimension are negatively related to firm performance. However, other measures deviate from this pattern, and therefore, we cannot conclude that simple measures can replace complicated measures. Some measures are more suitable for analyzing the relationship between management and owners, whereas other measures are more suitable for analyzing the relationships among owners.
Keywords: Ownership concentration measures, distributional properties, monitoring dimension, shareholder conflict dimension.
JEL Classification: C18, C46, C81, D74, G34, L25
Investment and asset securitization with an option-for-guarantee swap
This paper addresses the investment and ﬁnancing decisions of entrepreneurs entering into option for-guarantee swaps(OGSs). OGSs signiﬁcantly increase investment option value. Entrepreneurs initially accelerate their investments and then postpone them as funding gaps grow. Guarantee costs increase with project risks when the funding gap is suﬃciently small or large, but the opposite holds true otherwise. Investments are postponed when project risks, eﬀective tax rates, or bankruptcy costs increase. Surprisingly, the higher the project risk, the more the entrepreneur will borrow, with a much higher leverage than predicted by classic models. Entrepreneurs can use OGSs to securitize their assets.
Keywords: Credit default swap, real options, capital structure, asset securitization.
JEL Classification: G12, G23
Differences in CEO compensation under large and small institutional ownership
Onur Kemal Tosun
I examine the influence of large and small institutional investors on different components of chief executive officer (CEO) compensation, using U.S. data for 2006–2015. An increase in large institutional ownership reduces total pay and current incentive compensation (i.e. options, stocks, bonus pay), whereas small institutional investors lower long-term incentive pay (i.e. pension, deferred pay, stock incentive pay). These findings are consistent with managerial agency theory and the substitution of incentive pay by institutional monitoring. The effects are stronger for higher ownership levels and firms with weak governance, less financial distress, long-tenured CEOs, multiple segments, and more free cash flow.
Keywords: Large institutional ownership, small institutional ownership, short-term incentive pay, long term incentive pay, CEO compensation.
JEL Classification: C33, C36, G32, J33, M12
Innovations in Financing: The Impact of Anchor Investors in Indian IPOs
Arnab Bhattacharya, Binay Bhushan Chakrabarti, Chinmoy Ghosh, Milena Petrova
In 2009, the Securities Exchange Board of India allowed qualified institutional investors to anchor initial public offerings (IPOs) by participating in the issue at a price and allocation publicly disclosed preceding the issue. We study anchor investor (AI) in Indian IPOs during 2009–2017. We find the share allotment and the number of AIs separately have significant impacts on valuation and underpricing; however, the net effect is non-significant. Further, AIs significantly influence other institutional investors’ participation in the IPO, and induce lower aftermarket volatility. Overall, our evidence suggests that AIs boost demand for and mitigate ex-ante information uncertainty of IPOs.
Keywords: IPOs, anchor investors, certification, information uncertainty
JEL Classification: G14, G24
Estimating Portfolio Risk for Tail Risk Protection Strategies
David Happersberger, Harald Lohre, Ingmar Nolte
We forecast portfolio risk for managing dynamic tail risk protection strategies, based on extreme value theory, expectile regression, Copula-GARCH and dynamic GAS models. Utilizing a loss function that overcomes the lack of elicitability for Expected Shortfall, we propose a novel Expected Shortfall (and Value-at-Risk) forecast combination approach, which dominates simple and sophisticated standalone models as well as a simple average combination approach in modelling the tail of the portfolio return distribution. While the associated dynamic risk targeting or portfolio insurance strategies provide eﬀective downside protection, the latter strategies suﬀer less from inferior risk forecasts given the defensive portfolio insurance mechanics.
Keywords: Tail Risk Protection, CPPI, DPPI, Risk Modelling, Value-at-Risk, Expected Shortfall, Forecast Combination, Return Synchronization.
JEL Classification: C13, C14, C22, C53, G11.
Bank Credit Constraints for Women-Led SMEs: Self-Restraint or Lender Bias?
Emma Galli, Danilo V. Mascia, Stefania P.S. Rossi
We test the existence of possible gender biases affecting the firm behaviour in demanding and obtaining bank credit using a cross-country sample of European SMEs. We show consistent evidence that female-led firms are more likely than their male counterparts to refrain from applying for loans. When they apply, apparently female-led enterprises do not seem to face gender discrimination from the lender. Interestingly, however, signs of gender bias appear to arise during the upside phase of the economy. Overall, our study provides support for policy actions aimed at reducing the frictions faced by women-led SMEs when accessing credit markets.
Keywords: Access to finance, Bank lending, SMEs, self-restraint, gender discrimination
JEL Classification: D22, G21, G32, J16.