Essays on the real effects of financial frictions
Toro Venegas, Patricio
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This dissertation studies the effects of credit availability on firm-level outcomes using a new matched employer-employee panel of Chilean firms that also includes firm-bank lending and tax data. In Chapter I, using a natural experiment and a differences in differences approach, I show that firms that experienced a positive credit supply shock during the 2008-09 recession in Chile, exhibit higher labor productivity four years after the shock, even after aggregate demand and credit supply have fully recovered. Chapter II presents evidence consistent with the hypothesis that at least part of the productivity improvement is due to an increased ability of firms with access to credit to adjust labor during the recession. In particular, I find that these firms exhibit larger worker flows and use credit to adjust employment by churning more workers. Chapter III studies a government partial credit guarantee scheme for bank loans to small and medium sized enterprises using a regression discontinuity design around the threshold for eligibility. I show that the program has a large positive causal effect on firms' total borrowing, and the effect is persistent. Moreover, firms that obtain bank loans through this scheme can borrow more from loans not insured by the guarantee, which means that the program has a positive effect on the firms's total borrowing capacity. Finally, the program also helps in the formation of new bank-firm lending relationships.