Do real estate values boost corporate borrowing? Evidence from contract-level data

Murillo Campello, Robert A. Connolly, Gaurav Kankanhalli, Eva Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ample literature builds on the notion that real estate values boost corporate secured borrowing (“collateral channel”). A comprehensive contract-level database allows us to observe the value, location, and end-use of firms’ real estate holdings in the US and all debts raised against those assets over the 2000–2017 period. Firms raise new debt following an increase in the value of their real estate but use unsecured rather than secured borrowing. We rationalize these findings with a model where firms’ choices between secured and unsecured debt reflect the systematic risk exposures of the assets on their balance sheets. While secured debt may be seen as a safer claim than unsecured debt contractually, we demonstrate that it can be riskier from an economic perspective. Our analysis adds new insight into how firms set their debt structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-644
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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