Pierre Olivier Gourinchas, Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan, Veronika Penciakova, and Nick Sander
would have failed regardless of COVID-19 or that don’t need it. To explore this question further, we decompose SMEs into three groups: ‘survivor’ firms that don’t need support to weather the COVID-19 shock; ‘viable’ firms that would survive in normal times, but fail under COVID-19; and ‘ghost’ firms that would fail regardless of COVID-19. The efficient targeted intervention only provides relief to the group of ‘viable’ firms. By contrast, the direct firm subsidy indexed to the wage bill directs only 0.18 percent of GDP (out of 1.82 percent) to ‘viable’ firms, while 1
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.
Luis Franjo, Nathalie Pouokam, and Francesco Turino
In this paper we build a model of occupational choice with informal production and progressive income taxation. We calibrate the model to the Brazilian economy to evaluate the impact of removing financial frictions on informality. We find that financial deepening leads to a drop in the size of the informal sector (from 37 percent to 22 percent of official GDP), to an increase in measured TFP (by 4 percent), to an increase in official GDP (by 27 percent), to a decrease in tax evasion (by 17 percent) and to an increase in fiscal revenues (by 15 percent). When assessing the response of this policy at different levels of financial development, we find a non-linear relationship between the credit-to-GDP ratio on the one hand, and either the size of the informal economy, or GDP per capita on the other hand. We test these features with cross-country data and find evidence in favor of both types of non-linearity. We also investigate changes in the income tax progressitivity as an alternative policy and find it to be more effective in countries with a medium to high level of financial markets development.
Luis Franjo, Nathalie Pouokam, Francesco Turino, and Mr. Norbert Funke
provides several key statistics for both the benchmark and the perfect credit markets economy, and in Figure 2 that shows how individual decisions are affected by financial deepening in Brazil.
Table 3: Experiment Results. Removing financial frictions
No financial frictions
Size informal economy
Ghostfirms (% Total firms)
ΔFormal production (Official GDP)