DP17335 Does IT help? Information Technology in Banking and Entrepreneurship
This paper provides novel evidence on the importance of information technology (IT) in banking for entrepreneurship. To guide our analysis, we build a parsimonious model of bank screening and lending. The model predicts that IT in banking can spur entrepreneurship by making it easier for startups to borrow against collateral. We empirically show that job creation by young firms is stronger in US counties that are more exposed to IT-intensive banks. Consistent with a strengthened collateral channel, entrepreneurship increases by more in IT-exposed counties when house prices rise. Regressions at the bank level further show that banks' IT adoption makes credit supply more responsive to changes in local house prices, and reduces the importance of geographical distance between borrowers and lenders. These results suggest that IT adoption in the financial sector can increase dynamism by improving startups' access to finance.