The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper investigates how changes in industries' funding costs affect total factor productivity (TFP) growth. Based on panel regressions using 31 U.S. and Canadian industries between 1991 and 2007, and using industries' dependence on external funding as an identification mechanism, we show that increases in the cost of funds have a statistically significant and economically meaningful negative impact on TFP growth. This effect is, however, non-monotonic across sectors with different degrees of dependence on external finance. Our findings cannot be explained by either increasing returns to scale or factor hoarding, as results are not sensitive to controlling for industry size and our calculations account for changes in factor utilization. The paper presents a theoretical model that produces the observed non-monotonic effect of financial shocks on TFP growth and suggests that financial shocks distort the allocation of factors across firms even within an industry, thus reducing TFP growth.