This paper analyzes how the size and composition of the balance sheet affects firms financing cost within a large panel of Swiss firms in the non-financial sector from 1998 to 2011. The data includes a large number of small firms, which makes the data representative. We use an instrumental variables approach to identify the investment finance supply curve. Our finding that financing cost increase with exogenous changes in leverage supports the financial accelerator mechanism a la Bernanke, Gertler and Gilchrist. We quantitatively evaluate the implications of our findings for the aggregate business cycle and find that the amplification mechanism of the financial accelerator is economically significant: the volatility of the business cycle is amplified by a factor of 2.25 due to the presence of the financial accelerator channel.
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