Credit Supply and Corporate Policies

39 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2010 Last revised: 23 Oct 2010

See all articles by Erwan Morellec

Erwan Morellec

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Swiss Finance Institute

Date Written: March 10, 2010


This paper develops a model of corporate investment and financing decisions that differs from previous contributions by recognizing that firms may face uncertainty regarding their future access to credit markets. We show that accounting for credit supply uncertainty is critical in understanding corporate policy choices and use the model to explain a key set of stylized facts in corporate finance. Notably, our model provides an explanation for the conservative debt policy puzzle. The model also explains why firms may appear to time the market when issuing common stock. Finally, the model explains why negative shocks to the supply of credit may hamper investment even if firms have enough financial slack to fund all profitable investment opportunities internally.

Keywords: Corporate investment, capital structure, credit supply, real options, search

Suggested Citation

Morellec, Erwan, Credit Supply and Corporate Policies (March 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Erwan Morellec (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

College of Management
Extranef Quartier UNIL-Dorigny
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015


Swiss Finance Institute

c/o University of Geneva
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
CH-1211 Geneva 4

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