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Banking Reforms, Access to Credit, and Misallocation

Chakraborty, Pavel and Mitra, Nirvana (2021): Banking Reforms, Access to Credit, and Misallocation.

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Abstract

New liberalization policies are rapidly globalizing financial services in developing countries, but there is little or no microeconomic evidence on the impact of banking reforms on the real economy. We examine the impact of a banking sector reform characterized by the introduction of new domestic private and/or foreign banks on Indian manufacturing firms' access to credit, performance and the resulting misallocation in the Indian economy using a unique firm-bank matched data. We find that the introduction of new banks led to (i) increase in access to credit by 18–-23% for big firms (top 25 percentile of size distribution); (ii) reduction in access to loans for small firms (bottom 25th percentile) by around 45%; and (iii) increase in profit, total sales for big firms. Next, we follow Hsieh and Klenow (2009) and estimate the distortions arising out of the capital and output market and show that the banking reforms significantly relaxed the credit constraints only for the big and more productive firms, resulting in reduced capital market misallocation. Finally, our counterfactual experiment shows that the reallocation of credit led to an overall gain in manufacturing output by 0.15--1.1%.

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