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Access to credit by non-financial firms
In order to study the availability of credit to non-financial firms, we use in this article two different approaches, one based on prices and the other on amounts of loans. Using unique data sets, the first exercise is to estimate an econometric model for the interest rates on new or renegotiated loans made by non-financial firms in June 2010, controlling for characteristics of the loan and the company. Then, we show that the part of the increase between June 2010 and October 2011 in interest rates for similar loans that is explained by variations in the characteristics of loans and businesses is residual. This suggests that factors such as the increase in banks’ financing and capital costs may have been the source of this increase in interest rates. In the exercise with quantities, we estimate a model of the amount of credit using a panel of loans (or companies), including loan (or firm) fixed effects. We show that the typical credit amount of a non-financial firm fell rapidly from the beginning of 2009 on, attaining a minimum of several years. This decline was especially sharp for companies which first sought credit.