How Important are Financing Constraints? The Role of Finance in the Business Environment

Posted: 31 Dec 2008

See all articles by Meghana Ayyagari

Meghana Ayyagari

George Washington University - School of Business

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank - Development Research Group; World Bank

Vojislav Maksimovic

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

What role does the business environment play in promoting or restraining firm growth? Recent literature points to a number of factors as obstacles to growth. Inefficient functioning of financial markets, inadequate security and enforcement of property rights, poor provision of infrastructure, inefficient regulation and taxation, and broader governance features such as corruption and macroeconomic stability are all discussed without any comparative evidence on their ordering. Using firm-level survey data on the relative importance of different features of the business environment, the article finds that although firms report many obstacles to growth, not all the obstacles are equally constraining. Some affect firm growth only indirectly through their influence on other obstacles, or not at all. Analyses using directed acyclic graph methodology and regressions find that only obstacles related to finance, crime, and policy instability directly affect firm growth. The finance result is shown to be the most robust. The results have important implications for the priority of reforms. Maintaining policy stability, keeping crime under control, and undertaking financial sector reforms to relax financing constraints are likely to be the most effective routes to promote firm growth.

Keywords: D21, G30, O12

Suggested Citation

Ayyagari, Meghana and Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli and Maksimovic, Vojislav, How Important are Financing Constraints? The Role of Finance in the Business Environment (2008). The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 22, Issue 3, pp. 483-516, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1318110 or http://dx.doi.org/lhn018

Meghana Ayyagari (Contact Author)

George Washington University - School of Business ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank - Development Research Group ( email )

United States
202-473-7479 (Phone)
202-522-1155 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/ademirguckunt/

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Vojislav Maksimovic

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

Van Munching Hall
College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-2125 (Phone)
301-314-9157 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.rhsmith.umd.edu/vmax/home

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