Does being in the right social network mean an easier time getting credit? Good question. An interesting new paper looks whether Freemasons favor one another with loans:
Using a unique data set of 410 companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange between 1895 and 1902, I find that Masonic managers were associated with greater access to credit in small and young companies whose securities where traded over the counter. These companies earned higher profits, but the effect is not statistically significant. On the other hand, large publicly quoted corporations that were managed by Freemasons did not obtain greater access to credit; they had lower profits and lower Tobin’s Q.
So much for my putative Freemason large-cap factor in models …