Banking on Snow: Bank Capital, Risk, and Employment
How does small-firm employment respond to exogenous labor productivity risk? We find that this depends on the capitalization of firms' local banks. The evidence comes from firms employing workers whose productivity depends on the weather. Weather-induced labor productivity risk reduces this employment, and this effect is stronger in regions where the regional banks have less equity capital. Bank capitalization also proxies for the extent to which the regional banks' borrowers can obtain liquidity when the regions are hit by weather shocks. We argue that, as liquidity providers, well-capitalized banks support economic adaptation to climate change.
Rudolf Winter-Ebmer is a Senior Fellow with the Research Group European Governance, Public Finance and Labor Markets and is a professor of labor economics at the University of Linz.
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