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BOK Working Paper No.2019-25, Uncertainty, Credit and Investment: Evidence from Firm-Bank Matched Data

Economic Research Institute (82-2-759-5283) 2019.11.06 5465

Title : Uncertainty, Credit and Investment: Evidence from Firm-Bank Matched Data
Author : Youngju Kim(BOK), Seohyun Lee(IMF), Hyunjoon Lim(BOK)


This paper studies how high uncertainty affects corporate bank loans, addressing the important identification issue. In times of high uncertainty, firms reduce their credit demand due to delayed investments or a deterioration in their credit worthiness, while at the same time banks are more exposed to negative shocks to their balance sheet and thereby reduce credit supply. To isolate the uncertainty effect from the credit supply effect, we employ matched bank-firm loan data covering all loans extended by all financial intermediaries to the universe of listed firms in Korea, a bank-centered economy. Our empirical results reveal that a failure to control for credit supply leads to overestimation of the negative effect of uncertainty on bank loans. In addition, we find that the negative effect is stronger for relatively larger firms or financially unconstrained firms with low leverage or financial slack, once credit supply is controlled for. We confirm the same results in the analysis of firm investment, suggesting that high uncertainty may transmit to investment and bank loans mainly through the real options effects.