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Public Policy in Support of Small Business: The American Experience


Information problems in small enterprise credit markets can result in a market equilibrium characterized by credit rationing. These information problems are potentially more severe during sharp economic downturns such as the recent Great Recession. Government interventions to alleviate credit constraints on small firms need to be designed to correct the specific market failure resulting in socially suboptimal credit flows. We argue that Small Business Administration loan guarantees are a potentially appropriate intervention and provide a review of empirical research that supports our contention.

JEL Codes: G38, H81, O16

Keywords: small business, economic growth, loan guarantees, credit rationing, relationship lending


Suggested citation: Craig, Ben R., William E. Jackson III, and James B. Thomson, 2011. “Public Policy in Support of Small Business: The American Experience,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 11-16.

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