Life-Cycle Patterns of Interest-Rate Mark-Ups in Small-Firm Finance

Moshe Kim, Eirik Gaard Kristiansen, Bent Vale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We derive empirical implications from a theoretical model of bank-borrower relationships. The interest-rate mark-ups of banks are predicted to follow a life-cycle pattern over the age of the borrowing firms. Because of endogenous bank monitoring by competing banks, borrowing firms initially face a low mark-up, and thereafter an increasing mark-up as a result of informational lock-in, until it falls for older firms when the lock-in is resolved. By applying a large sample of predominantly small unlisted firms and a new measure of asymmetric information, we find that firms with significant asymmetric-information problems have a more pronounced life-cycle pattern of interest-rate mark-ups. Additionally, we examine the effects of concentrated banking markets on interest-rate mark-ups. The results indicate that the life cycle of mark-ups is mainly driven by asymmetric-information problems and not by concentration. However, we find evidence that bank market concentration matters for older firms†

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-657
Number of pages29
JournalScandinavian Journal of Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Asymmetric information
  • Banking
  • Competition
  • G21
  • L15
  • Loan-pricing
  • Lock-in

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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