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Contract Enforcement and Firms'd5 FinancingContract Enforcement and Firms'd5 Financing

Cristina Arellano, Yan Bai () and Jing Zhang ()

No 573, Working Papers from Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan

Abstract: This paper studies how the degree of contract enforcement in a country influences firms'd5 financing decisions. We first document empirical facts on debt financing for two new firm-level datasets in the United Kingdom and Ecuador. In the United Kingdom, small firms borrow more relative to their assets than large firms, whereas in Ecuador small firms borrow less. We build a dynamic model of firms'd5 debt financing where debt is constrained by the likelihood of default, which varies across firms and economies with different degrees of enforcement. Because of their low firm values, small firms are mostly affected by abundance or scarcity of economy-wide loans generated by weak or strong contract enforcement. We calibrate our model to the datasets in the two countries and find that our mechanism can quantitatively account for the patterns observed in the data.

Pages: 37 pages
Date: 2007-06
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http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers551-575/r573.pdf

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