Garcia-Tabuenca, Antonio Crecente-Romero, Fernando Pablo-Martí, Federico
Year of Publication:
54th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional development & globalisation: Best practices", 26-29 August 2014, St. Petersburg, Russia
In the expansionary phase of the economy (1995-2007) and, particularly after the Euro introduction, credit to the business sector increased significantly in Europe. According to surveys of the EC-Flash Eurobarometer (2005), over 77% of SMEs claimed to have appropriate funding levels. A number of EU Member States (inside and outside the Eurozone) even showed values near 90%: Finland, Ireland, Denmark and the UK. 85% of Spanish companies had a sufficient funding level in that year. Others, such as Sweden and Germany, were 77% and 73% respectively. These data suggest that at this stage of the business cycle the traditional credit constraint faced by SMEs (Vohrl and Adams, 1997; EU 2011; Callejón and Segarra, 2012), would have been at least partially overcome, since most of these companies had access to abundant and cheap credit. The conditions of bank credit changed due to the lasting decline in interest rates, economic growth and low inflation. Moreover, it is well known that since 2009 these companies are suffering financial constraints more significant in a set of countries than in others (ECB-Survey on the access to finance of SMEs in the euro area, 2011). The question this paper raises is whether this easy access to credit has led to improved productivity and competitiveness through an increase in long-term productive investment. Or, on the contrary, it was not used to increase the size of enterprises and the technological effort and therefore to internationalize their business investment. The work, which takes a regional approach to capture territorial differences, focuses on the Spanish economy, examining the evolution and behaviour of SMEs from the perspective of international / export commitment in the decade from 2003 to 2012. Outcomes and evidence on the origin and depth of the crisis are extracted from a panel data of companies (Amadeus-SABI data base) and making use of financial indicators and econometric techniques. This provides guidance on the Spanish production model and the importance of focusing policies and incentives on business credit.
SMEs access to credit international commitment competitiveness