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Government-driven credit played an important role in countervailing the private credit crunch in Brazil during the recent financial crisis. However, government credit concessions continued to expand after the economy recovered. This paper investigates some important features of this expansion using a huge repository of loan contracts between banks and firms, composing an unbalanced panel of almost 1 million firms between 2004 and 2012. The results show that larger, older and less risky firms have benefited most from the government-sponsored credit expansion. Additionally, although higher access to earmarked credit tends to lead to higher leverage, the effect on investment appears to be insignificant for publicly traded firms. Since interest rates on earmarked loans are lower than market interest rates, firms with higher access to this type of loan tend to lower the cost of debt.
The literature has identified that countries with higher levels of openness tend to present a larger government sector as a way to reduce the risks to the economy that openness entails. This paper argues that there are a number of policies that can mitigate trade-induced risks, many of which do not have the necessary implication of increasing public spending. Yet, many such policies require govern ... (View publication)
This report is devoted to the social impact of the crisis and focuses on its effects on employment, nutrition, education, and poverty. It identifes the mechanisms by which the crisis can affect these critical social dimensions, and discusses possible policy responses given each country's circumstances, fiscal space and administrative capabilities. The social challenge generated by the crisis is no ... (View publication)
This report focuses on the region's macroeconomic performance in the context of an unusually sharp and rapid deterioration in external conditions. To assess policy options, the report develops a framework to identify the critical trade-offs faced by countries in the region, and evaluates these trade-offs under alternative, plausible, global economic scenarios. It identifies some of the macroeconom ... (View publication)
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