Firms’ Expectations on the Availability of Credit Since the Financial Crisis
46 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2020
Date Written: December, 2019
Using a large set of firm-level survey data from the euro area since 2009, we analyse how firms use their information to form expectations on the availability of bank finance. Our results suggest that firms update what otherwise look like adaptive expectations on the basis of the latest information in their information set. As in the previous literature, the hypothesis that expectations fulfil the (orthogonality) conditions of the rational expectations hypothesis is rejected by the data. We find evidence that this is not only due to information imperfections but also to some type of misspecification of the expectations’ model that firms are using. In addition, we find some evidence that companies that have not used bank finance recently tend to do worse at forecasting its availability next period. To test how policy announcements may affect expectations, we concentrate on the possible effects of the ECB policy announcements of summer 2012, which included among other things the announcement of the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions Program (OMT). Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find evidence of forward-looking expectations. In particular, shortly after the OMT announcement the forecast of “informed” firms were more upbeat compared to the control group of firms. This moreover was true in both vulnerable and non-vulnerable countries, suggesting that it was the relevance of the information about the future of the banking system that most mattered for expectations at the time, more than the immediate impact of the announced policy measures.
Keywords: expectation formation, policy announcements and survey data
JEL Classification: C83, D22, D84
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation