Regulatory Risk Perception and Small Business Lending
51 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 12, 2021
We study how Small Business Administration (SBA) employees respond to salient defaults. Using novel data to identify employees transferring across SBA offices, we find that defaults on SBA loans in their previous workplace reduce SBA loans in their current workplace. The effect is independent of local risk conditions and the informational content of the non-local defaults, consistent with a mechanical updating of risk perceptions among local SBA employees and inconsistent with rational learning. The local SBA loan market becomes geographically clustered and concentrated among fewer borrowers and lenders, especially those who have prior relationships with the SBA, suggesting higher barriers for participation.
Keywords: small business lending, default risk, risk salience, government guarantees
JEL Classification: D02, D73, G28, G41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation