How Collateral Laws Shape Lending and Sectoral Activity
60 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016 Last revised: 16 May 2021
Date Written: January 2016
We demonstrate the central importance of creditors’ ability to use “movable” assets as collateral (as distinct from “immovable” real estate) when borrowing from banks. Using a unique cross-country micro-level loan dataset containing loan-to-value ratios for different assets, we find that loan-to-values of loans collateralized with movable assets are lower in countries with weak collateral laws, relative to immovable assets, and that lending is biased towards the use of immovable assets. Using sector-level data, we find that weak movable collateral laws create distortions in the allocation of resources that favor immovable-based production. An analysis of Slovakia’s collateral law reform confirms our findings.
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