In this paper analyze how the relation between bank concentration and firm financing is influenced by certain characteristics of the place where firms are located, in particular focusing on urban development potential – in terms of building density - using a very recently developed measurement approach, and in the context of Latin American emerging market economy, a region where banks play a crucial role for credit provision emphasizing how contextually grounded research can better inform banks and corporates’ strategies. Supporting the information-based hypothesis, our results correspond to the positive relation between bank concentration level and firm’s leverage, as a proxy for credit accessibility. We add important evidence to the debate on the role of urban development potential as one of the main urban characteristics with a significant impact on economy, emphasizing how contextually building density plays a role in moderating the effects of bank concentration on firms’ access to credit. We empirically demonstrate that potential for urban development of the city where firms are located significantly moderates the positive relationship between bank concentration and firms’ access to credit and thus – alongside firm, industry, and country components – it contributes to explaining firm-level leverage variations. Our analysis also shows variations across domestic and multinational firms. Specifically, the moderating effect of potential for urban development on the positive relation between bank concentration and firms’ access to credit is stronger for foreign-owned companies.

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Incae Business School

Memarian, M, Trejos, A, Benetti, S., & Rodríguez, S. (2020). Bank Concentration, Urban Development Potential and Firms’ Access to Credit in Latin America.