Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Veronika Penciakova, and Nick Sander
We estimate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on business failures among small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in seventeen countries using a large representative firm-level database. We use a simple model of firm cost-minimization and measure each firm’s liquidity shortfall during and after COVID-19. Our framework allows for a rich combination of sectoral and aggregate supply, productivity, and demand shocks. We estimate a large increase in the failure rate of SMEs under COVID-19 of nearly 9 percentage points, ab-sent government support. Accommodation & Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Education, and Other Services are among the most affected sectors. The jobs at risk due to COVID-19 related SME business failures represent 3.1 percent of private sector employment. Despite the large impact on business failures and employment, we estimate only moderate effects on the financial sector: the share of Non Performing Loans on bank balance sheets would increase by up to 11 percentage points, representing 0.3 percent of banks’ assets and resulting in a 0.75 percentage point decline in the common equity Tier-1 capital ratio. We evaluate the cost and effectiveness of various policy interventions. The fiscal cost of an intervention that narrowly targets at risk firms can be modest (0.54% of GDP). However, at a similar level of effectiveness, non-targeted subsidies can be substantially more expensive (1.82% of GDP). Our results have important implications for the severity of the COVID-19 recession, the design of policies, and the speed of the recovery.
We study the impact of bank credit on firm productivity. We exploit a matched firm-bank
database covering all the credit relationships of Italian corporations, together with a natural
experiment, to measure idiosyncratic supply-side shocks to credit availability and to estimate
a production model augmented with financial frictions. We find that a contraction in credit
supply causes a reduction of firm TFP growth and also harms IT-adoption, innovation,
exporting, and adoption of superior management practices, while a credit expansion has
limited impact. Quantitatively, the credit contraction between 2007 and 2009 accounts for
about a quarter of observed the decline in TFP.
The limited access to bank credit in recent years has increased the pressure on small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), forcing them to scale down investment plans and production. This paper, which explores the macroeconomic implications of this channel, finds evidence that countries with high prevalence of SMEs tended to recover more slowly from the global financial crisis than their peers, implying that the interaction of the economic structure and access to bank financing plays a critical role in episodes of economic recovery. This conclusion is reinforced by a VAR estimation, which demonstrates that a negative credit supply shock applied to SMEs has an adverse effect on economic activity, and this impact is amplified in countries that have a high share of SMEs.
In the United States and a few European countries, inventory behavior is mainly the outcome of demand shocks: a standard buffer-stock model best characterizes these economies. But most European countries are described by a modified buffer-stock model where supply shocks dominate. In contrast to the United States, inventories boost growth with a one-year lag in Europe. Moreover, inventories provide limited information to improve growth forecasts particularly when a modified buffer-stock model characterizes inventory behavior.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation on euro area policies highlights that 10 years after its launch, monetary union is a distinct success and the euro area a zone of stability in the international economy. However, economic union remains work in progress. Improved wage setting and labor market reforms have contributed to the creation of some 16 million jobs over the past decade. Similarly, the single market program and product market reforms have raised productivity in affected sectors. The outlook for financial stability is highly uncertain, although the area’s financial system remains sound.
This paper develops a new empirical framework for analyzing the dynamics of the trade balance in response to different types of macroeconomic shocks. The model provides a synthetic perspective on the conditional correlations between the business cycle and the trade balance that are generated by different shocks and attempts to reconcile these results with unconditional correlations found in the data. The results suggest that, in the post-Bretton Woods period, nominal shocks have been an important determinant of the forecast error variance for fluctuations in the trade balances of the Group of Seven countries.