The Benefits of Relationship Lending in a Cross-Country Context: A Meta-Analysis

V Kysucky, Lars Norden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Relationship lending may create benefits for borrowers by reducing information asymmetries. However, empirical evidence is mixed. We conduct a meta-analysis to summarize and explain the heterogeneity in the results in the literature using hand-collected information from 101 studies in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America from 1970 to 2010. We find that strong relationships are generally beneficial for borrowers, but lending outcomes differ across the relationships’ dimensions. Long-lasting, exclusive, and synergy-creating bank relationships are associated with higher credit volume and lower loan rates. These benefits are more likely in the United States and in countries where bank competition is high. They are not related to the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises in an economy, suggesting that prevalence of relationship lending does not necessarily come along with borrower benefits. Our inferences are robust when we control for observed systematic heterogeneity in the original studies and hold in a bootstrapping analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-110
Number of pages40
JournalManagement Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Research programs

  • RSM F&A


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