How Voluntary Information Sharing Systems Form: Evidence from a U.S. Commercial Credit Bureau

60 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020 Last revised: 30 May 2023

Date Written: August 18, 2021


We use the introduction of a U.S. commercial credit bureau to study when lenders adopt voluntary information sharing technology and the resulting consequences for competition and credit access. Our results suggest that lenders trade off access to new markets against heightened competition for their own borrowers. Lenders that initially do not adopt lose borrowers to competitors that do, which ultimately compels them to adopt and leads to the formation of an information sharing system. Access to credit improves but only for high-quality borrowers in markets with greater lender adoption. We provide the first direct evidence on when financial intermediaries adopt information sharing technologies and how sharing systems form and evolve.

Keywords: information sharing, access to credit, financial intermediation, fintech, SMEs

JEL Classification: G21, G23, G32

Suggested Citation

Liberti, Jose Maria and Sturgess, Jason and Sutherland, Andrew, How Voluntary Information Sharing Systems Form: Evidence from a U.S. Commercial Credit Bureau (August 18, 2021). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Jose Maria Liberti

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Jacobs 4203
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
(847) 491-5861 (Phone)
(847) 491-5719 (Fax)


DePaul University ( email )

1 East Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-2287
United States
(312) 362-8739 (Phone)
(312) 362-6566 (Fax)

Jason Sturgess

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Andrew Sutherland (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

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