Corporate Optimism and Bank Lending
63 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 5, 2021
We study how lenders respond to excessive optimism in the corporate sector. Our identification relies on plausibly exogenous variation in optimism across areas in Italy. We document that firms in optimistic areas hold favorable views about their own business, and that they are more likely to default on their debt. Banks are more likely to deny credit to firms in optimistic areas, but only for loans that cannot be easily collateralized. Our findings provide empirical support for the theoretical prediction that banks' collateral provision reduces the efficiency of the credit market when the corporate sector is prone to excessive optimism.
Keywords: optimism; business expectations; loan applications; borrower default; collateral requirements.
JEL Classification: G41, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation