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Local financial development and constraints on domestic private-firm exports: Evidence from city commercial banks in China

Zhao Chen, Sandra Poncet and Ruixiang Xiong

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2020, vol. 48, issue 1, 56-75

Abstract: We show that the development of city commercial banks (CCBs) across China has alleviated the constraints from China’s domestic financial-market inefficiency on the export activity of domestic private firms. Considering the export behavior of 260 cities between 1997 and 2012, we confirm the well-established under-performance of domestic private firms in financially more vulnerable sectors compared to foreign affiliates in China. We show that a greater number of CCB branches raises domestic private-firm exports disproportionately more in financially-dependent sectors, which is in line with improved financing conditions for these companies. This improvement in export performance appears to result from both an increase in the number of destination countries and a decline in prices. CCB development is moreover associated with a reduction in the systematic disadvantage of domestic private firms relative to foreign-owned firms in export markets resulting from their greater financial exclusion. We, however, also find that private-firm export performance has deteriorated relative to that of state-owned firms, casting doubt on the ability of CCBs to end the systematic bias of lending in favor of the state sector.

Keywords: City commercial banks; Local financial development; Financial constraints; Export performance; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F14 F36 G32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2019.09.005

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