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The sensitivity of SME’s investment and employment to the cost of debt financing
A1 - General Economics
We use variation in the access to a government credit certification program in Portugal to estimate the sensitivity of SMEs´ investment and employment to the cost of debt financing. Targeted firms have access to a credit certification and loan guarantees. We use a multidimensional regression discontinuity design to estimate real effects. Eligible firms increase borrowing and obtain bank loans at lower rates than non-eligible firms, allowing them to increase investment and employment during crises. Eligible firms also exhibit increased return on assets and default less. Industry-level analysis shows reduced heterogeneity in access to credit in more exposed industries.