Policy initiatives and firms’ access to external finance: Evidence from a panel of emerging Asian economies
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This paper analyses the impact of policy initiatives co-ordinated by Asian national governments on firms' access to external finance, using a unique firm-level database of eight Asian countries- Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand over the period of 1996-2012. Using a difference-indifferences approach and controlling for firm-level and macroeconomic factors, the results show a significant impact of policy on firms' access to external finance. After splitting firms into constrained and unconstrained, using several criteria, the results document that unconstrained firms benefited significantly in obtaining external finance, compared to their constrained counterparts. Finally, we show that the increase in access to external finance after the policy initiative helped firms to raise their investment spending, especially for unconstrained firms.