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Keywords:

  • G21
  • relationship lending;
  • accounting disclosure

We examine whether lending relationships benefit firms by making credit more available during periods of financial stress. Our main finding is that during the Asian financial crisis of July 1997 through the end of 1998, relationship lending increased the likelihood that Korean and Thai firms would obtain credit but it had no effect on Indonesian and Philippine firms. We ask if accounting disclosure might explain the observed differences among the three countries for which audit information is available. We find that for Indonesian firms with weak lending relationships, banks replace relationship lending technology with a financial-statement lending technology. Such a result does not hold for Korean and Philippine firms.