CESifo working paper: Fiscal Policy, Macroeconomics and Growth 3349
Existing literature sees opportunistic behaviour of contractual partners as the main reason why rational agents underinvest in relationship-specific assets. We look beyond this well-know holdup problem and argue that financial vulnerability and short-term planning horizon can also lead to such underinvestment. Subsequently, banks can stimulate growth-enhancing investment in relationship-specific assets by signalling creditworthiness and long-term planning horizon of their borrowers. We empirically confirm this hypothesis by showing that industries dependent on relationship-specific investment from their suppliers grow disproportionately faster in countries with a strong banking sector.
financial development relationship-specific investment growth