Collateral - generally defined as an asset used to provide security for a lender's loan - is an important feature of credit contracts and all the available evidence suggests that its use is getting more pervasive. This informative book builds upon recent research into this topic. Sena analyses three case-studies that revolve around the impact that financial constraints have on economic outcomes. In the first case-study, the relationship between firms' technical efficiency and increasing financial pressure is explored. The author then goes on to show, in the second case study, that under specific circumstances, increasing financial pressure and increasing product market competition can jointly have a positive impact on firms' technical efficiency, while not being true for all types of firms. In the third case, she analyses the impact that finance constraints have on women's start-ups. Unique and revealing, this is the first book to deal so extensively with the topic of collateral, and as such, is a valuable reference to postgraduates and professionals in the fields of macroeconomics, monetary and business economics. © 2008 Vania Sena. All rights reserved.