Labor and Finance: The Effect of Bank Relationships

Patrick Behr, Lars Norden, and Raquel de Freitas Oliveira

We investigate whether firms’ number of credit relationships with financial institutions affects labor market outcomes. Using 5 million observations on matched credit and labor panel data from Brazil, we estimate IV regressions, employing exogenous variation in firm-lender relationships due to nationwide bank M&A activity. Firms with more relationships employ more workers and pay higher wage bills. Credit availability, cost of credit, and financial institution heterogeneity are economic channels. The firm-level results translate into positive macroeconomic effects in municipalities and states. The evidence is novel and indicates positive effects of multiple relationships on labor market outcomes in an emerging economy.