Journal Article

Credit within the Firm

Luigi Guiso, Luigi Pistaferri and Fabiano Schivardi

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 80, issue 1, pages 211-247
Published in print January 2013 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online June 2012 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI:
Credit within the Firm

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We use variation in the degree of development of local credit markets and matched employer–employee data to assess the role of the firm as an internal credit market. We find that firms operating in less financially developed markets offer lower entry wages but faster wage growth than firms in more financially developed markets. This helps firms finance their operations by implicitly raising funds from workers. We control for local market fixed effects and only exploit time variation in the degree of local financial development induced by an exogenous liberalization, so that the effect we find is unlikely to reflect unobserved local factors that systematically affect wage–tenure profiles. We estimate that the amount of credit generated by implicit lending within the firm is economically important and can be as large as 30 percent of the bank lending. Consistent with credit market imperfections opening up trade opportunities within the firm, we find that the internal rate of return of implicit loans lies between the rate at which workers savings are remunerated in the market and the rate that firms pay on their loans from banks.

Keywords: Implicit contracts; Financial frictions; Tenure profile; Wage setting; JEL Codes; J3; L2; G3

Journal Article.  19505 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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