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Short-Term Loans and Long-Term Relationships: Relationship Lending in Early America

Howard Bodenhorn ()

No 137, NBER Historical Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Recent banking theory holds that durable firm-bank relationships are valuable to both parties. Using contract-specific loan records of a nineteenth-century U.S. bank, this paper shows that firms that form extended relationships with banks receive three principal benefits. First, firms with extended relationships face lower credit costs. As the bank-borrower relationship matures credit costs decline. Second, long-term customers are asked to provide fewer personal guarantees. Third-party guarantees are an efficient alternative to collateral in certain circumstances, and long-term clients are asked to provide fewer guarantees. Third, long-term bank customers more likely to have loan terms renegotiated during a credit crunch. Firms without access to public debt markets rely on bank credit, and continued access during a credit crunch is important for small, informationally opaque firms.

JEL-codes: N2 G2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent and nep-mfd
Note: DAE
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Published as Bodenhorn, Howard. "Short-Term Loans And Long-Term Relationships: Relationship Lending In Early America," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 2003, v35(4,Aug), 485-505.

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