Resolving Zombie Lending With Collateral Reform
Author(s) Nirupama Kulkarni


Zombie lending, defined as lending to otherwise insolvent borrowers, misallocates resources and hinders economic growth. This paper exploits a 2002 collateral reform in India as a natural experiment to show that improving the process of resolving bad loans can reduce the share of credit and capital allocated to zombie borrowers. Post-reform credit to distressed borrowers contracts due to a decline in continued lending to zombie borrowers, which subsequently cut investment. Credit to healthy firms increases that then expand investment. Allocative efficiency improves by 18.7%, with 94% of the improvement attributable to credit reallocation by lenders from zombie to non-zombie borrowers.

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