Using a difference-in-differences approach, we show that relaxation of short-sale constraints helps to filter out low-quality borrowers from the bank loan market. Treated firms that can still borrow from banks enjoy a lower loan spread, compared with control firms without this sorting mechanism. The results show that such treated borrowers have improved information asymmetry and credit risk, as well as better non-price contract terms. Overall, equity short selling has a real effect on the bank loan market by weeding out poor-quality borrowers, resulting in a lower cost of private debt for remaining borrower firms.
- short selling
- bank loan markets