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The effect of bank branch closures on new firm formation: the Swedish case

Cynthia Sin Tian Ho () and Björn Berggren
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Cynthia Sin Tian Ho: KTH - The Royal Institute of Technology
Björn Berggren: KTH - The Royal Institute of Technology

The Annals of Regional Science, 2020, vol. 65, issue 2, No 3, 319-350

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, the effect of local bank branch closures on new firm formation in Sweden is analysed using a panel database that captures the geographical locations of all Swedish bank branches in 2007 and 2013. The previous research has shown that the further a firm is located away from the bank, the higher the monitoring costs will be for the banks. Furthermore, an increase in the distance to the banks will also increase information asymmetry because of the banks’ eroded ability to collect and analyse soft information. Due to the high risks associated with the lack of information and uncertainty, banks might not be as willing to extend credits to a distant firm compared to a nearby firm. Using spatial econometric analysis at a municipal level, it is shown that bank proximity to firms, unemployment rate, industry structures, income growth, change in housing price and percentage of immigrants are vital for new firm formation in Sweden. From the spatial Durbin model with fixed effects, an increase in the weighted distance to the nearest bank branches is shown to affect new firm formation negatively.

Keywords: L26; G21; R11; C33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s00168-020-00986-4

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Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:65:y:2020:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-020-00986-4