SME Financing and the Choice of Lending Technology in Italy: Complementarity or Substitutability?
23 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 30, 2012
This paper investigates SME financing in Italy. The literature distinguishes between two main different lending technologies (LTs) for SMEs: transactional and relationship LTs. We find that banks lend to SMEs by using both LTs together, independently of the size and proximity of borrowers. Moreover, we show that when soft information is taken into account in transactional (relationship) lending it increases (decreases) the probability of firms being credit rationed. These results support the view that LTs can be complementary, but reject the hypothesis that substitutability among LTs is somehow possible for outsiders by means of hardening of soft information.
Keywords: Lending technologies, bank-firm relationship, soft information, hard information, small business finance
JEL Classification: G21, G30, O16
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