Do SBA Loans Create Jobs?

56 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2013 Last revised: 2 Aug 2013

J. David Brown

US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

John S. Earle

George Mason University - Schar School of Policy and Government; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: July 30, 2013

Abstract

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans have long been one of the most significant policy interventions in the U.S. affecting firm behavior, but little is known about their outcomes. This paper estimates the effects on employment using a list of all SBA loans linked to annual data on all U.S. employers from 1976 to 2010. Our methods combine firm fixed-effect regressions with matching on exact firm age, industry, year, and pre-loan size, and on propensity scores as a function of four years of employment history and other variables. The results imply positive average effects on loan recipient employment of about 25 percent, or 3 jobs at the mean. Including loan amount, we find little or no impact of loan receipt per se, but an increase of about 5.4 jobs for each million dollars of loans. Similar results for high-growth counties and industries suggest the estimates are not driven by differential demand conditions across firms. Exploiting variation in the distance of controls from recipient firms, we find only very small displacement effects. In all these cases, the results pass “placebo” and “pre-program” specification tests. Other specifications using only matching or only regression imply somewhat higher effects, but they fail these tests. The estimates facilitate calculations of total job creation by the SBA and of the cost per job created.

Keywords: small business finance, job creation, employment, program evaluation

JEL Classification: D04, G21, G28, H32, H81, J23, L52

Suggested Citation

Brown, J. David and Earle, John S., Do SBA Loans Create Jobs? (July 30, 2013). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP-12-27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2205174

J. David Brown

US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States
301-763-8769 (Phone)
301-763-5935 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

John S. Earle (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Schar School of Policy and Government ( email )

3351 Fairfax Drive
MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8023 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://earle.gmu.edu

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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