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Asymmetric information, credit market condition, and entrepreneurial finance

Han, L. and Zhang, S. (2012) Asymmetric information, credit market condition, and entrepreneurial finance. In: Cumming, D. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Entrepreneurial Finance. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780195391244

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The issue of imperfect information plays a much more important role in financing “informationally opaque” small businesses than in financing large companies.1 This chapter examines the asymmetric information issue in entrepreneurial finance from two perspectives: the effects of relationship lending and the impacts of credit market concentration on entrepreneurial financial behavior. These two perspectives are strongly linked to each other via the asymmetric information issue in entrepreneurial finance. Existing literature has recognized the important role played by relationship lending in alleviating the problem of asymmetric information. However, mixed empirical results have been reported. For example, it has been found that the development of relationship lending can improve the availability of finance for small businesses borrowers (Petersen and Rajan, 1994) and reduce the costs of finance (Berger and Udell, 1995). Meanwhile, with monopoly power, banks may extract rents, in terms of charging higher-than-market interest rates, from small businesscustomers who have very concentrated banking relationships (Ongena and Smith, 2001). In addition, both favorable and unfavorable effects of credit market concentration on financing small businesses have been acknowledged. Small business borrowers may have to pay a higher-than-market price on loans (Degryse and Ongena, 2005) and are more likely to be financially constrained (Cetorelli, 2004) than in competitive markets. On the other hand, empirical studies have shown that market concentration create a strong motive for lenders to invest in private information from small business customers, and therefore a concentrated market is more efficient in terms of private information acquisition (Han et al., 2009b). The objective of this chapter is to investigate, by reviewing existing literature, the role played by relationship lending and the effects of market concentration on financing entrepreneurial businesses that are supposed to be informationally opaque. In the first section we review literature on the important role played by asymmetric information in entrepreneurial finance from two perspectives: asymmetric information and relationship lending, and the theoretical modeling of asymmetric information. Then we examine the relationship between capital market conditions and entrepreneurial finance and attempt to answer two questions: Why is the capital market condition important for entrepreneurial finance? and What are the effects of capital market conditions on entrepreneurial financial behavior in terms of discouraged borrowers, cash holding, and the availability and costs of finance?

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:45477
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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