53 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008 Last revised: 23 Sep 2014
Date Written: March 4, 2009
We study the relation between access to finance and productivity. Our contribution to the literature is a clean identification of a causal effect of access to finance on productivity. Specifically, we exploit an exogenous shift in demand for a product to expose how producers adapt their productivity in the presence of varying levels of access to finance. We use a triple differences testing approach and find that production increases the most over the sample period in areas with relatively strong access to finance, even in comparison to a control group. This result is statistically significant, and robust to a variety of controls, alternative variables, and tests. The causal effect of access to finance on productivity that we find speaks to the larger role of finance in economic growth.
Keywords: economic growth, access to finance, banking, natural experiment, productivity, crop yields, ethanol
JEL Classification: G21, D24, Q12, Q14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Butler, Alexander W. and Cornaggia, Jess, Does Access to External Finance Improve Productivity? Evidence from a Natural Experiment (March 4, 2009). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Vol. 99, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1084154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1084154