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Bank Funding and the Survival of Start-ups

João A. C. Santos
Publication Year 
JEL Code 
G21 - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Mortgages
G32 - Financing Policy; Capital and Ownership Structure
M13 - Entrepreneurship
We document that start-ups with more access to long-term bank loans and those with more available credit in their credit lines survive longer. These findings do not appear to be driven by bank selection. Start-ups (including those founded by entrepreneurs without a business track record) that access these funding sources, in particular long-term loans, right at the beginning of their lives - when it is arguably more dicult for banks to identify winners - survive longer. Further, our findings continue to hold when we control for unobserved heterogeneity in start-ups, and when we instrument for banks' lending decisions. In addition, our findings do not seem to be entirely driven by bank monitoring because we do not find that accessing short-term bank loans yields similar results. Our results suggest that reducing uncertainty about future access to bank funding helps start-ups survive longer, possibly because it offers them insurance against future shocks and/or affords them the opportunity to make investments that they would not consider otherwise.
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