What Hinders Investment in the Aftermath of Financial Crises: Insolvent Firms or Illiquid Banks?
We quantify the effects of the lending and balance sheet channels on corporate investment, by comparing the performance of foreign-owned exporters to that of domestic during two types of financial crises: "currency" and "twin." A currency crisis involves a depreciated currency, whereas a twin crisis is a combination of banking and currency crises. Our measure of balance sheet weakness is based on maturity and currency mismatches between assets and liabilities. During a twin crisis, a 1 percent worsening of the balance sheet translates into a 13 percent decline in investment by domestic exporters relative to foreign-owned exporters, while the latter increase investment by 5 percent in spite of the credit crunch. There is no difference in investment rates between the two set of exporters under a currency crisis, although the deterioration of their balance-sheet is similar. The results suggest a key role for illiquidity in hindering investment in the aftermath of crises.
This paper was revised on December 21, 2012