When designing schemes to help SMEs survive crises, the government typically faces asymmetric information, so that it cannot target the SMEs most worth saving. We show that the government can exploit the information in the borrower loan demand to improve policy targets compared with existing programmes. If the aim is employment protection, optimal policy should fully subsidise the funding cost of only those SMEs whose loan size is below a threshold. If the aim is economic efficiency, the government should target SMEs whose loan size is above a threshold. In general, public policy should utilise private sectors’ information and expertise.
- Xuan Wang (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
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