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Trade Credit Terms Offered by Small Firms: Survey Evidence and Empirical Analysis

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  • Nicholas Wilson

    (University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

  • Barbara Summers

    (University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

Abstract

Trade credit has been shown to be an important source of short-term finance for smaller firms but small firms are also suppliers of trade credit. There is little empirical evidence on the credit granting decisions of small firms. Previous empirical work (Petersen and Rajan, 1997; and Ng, Smith and Smith, 1999) has focused on credit granting and investment in accounts receivable in larger firms. In this paper we look at the influences on credit granting for the smallest firms, using a sample of firms with an average of 10 employees. As in previous studies we find that product and demand characteristics influence credit terms. Moreover, we find evidence that firm size affects credit extension choices directly by setting limits on the possibilities for economies of scale, but it also impacts indirectly by affecting the firm's access to finance and its bargaining strength "vis-à-vis" suppliers. The dominant position of larger customers in bargaining with small suppliers constrains the impact of other factors on the firm's choice of credit terms. Small firms are also under pressure to conform to industry norms, although lack of resources can be a limiting factor. Constrained firms may make use of two-part terms in an attempt to improve their cashflow. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2002.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

Volume (Year): 29 (2002-04)
Issue (Month): 3&4 ()
Pages: 317-351

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:29:y:2002-04:i:3&4:p:317-351

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Cited by:
  1. TSURUTA Daisuke, 2009. "Customer Relationships and the Provision of Trade Credit during a Recession," Discussion papers 09043, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  2. Fabbri, Daniela & Menichini, Anna Maria C., 2010. "Trade credit, collateral liquidation, and borrowing constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 413-432, June.
  3. Pedro García-Teruel & Pedro Martínez-Solano, 2010. "A dynamic perspective on the determinants of accounts payable," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 439-457, May.
  4. Mariarosaria Agostino & Francesco Trivieri, 2014. "Does trade credit play a signalling role? Some evidence from SMEs microdata," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 131-151, January.
  5. Massimo Omiccioli, 2005. "Trade Credit as Collateral," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 553, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Nancy Huyghebaert & Linda Gucht & Cynthia Hulle, 2007. "The Choice between Bank Debt and Trace Credit in Business Start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 435-452, December.
  7. Jézabel Couppey-Soubeyran & Jérôme Héricourt, 2013. "The Impact of Financial Development on the Relationship between Trade Credit, Bank Credit and Firm Characteristics," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00978572, HAL.
  8. Ydriss Ziane, 2009. "Tests des motifs transactionnels et financiers du crédit commercial:le cas des firmes lorraines," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 12(1), pages 67-92, March.
  9. Van Horen, Neeltje, 2007. "Customer Market Power and the Provision of Trade Credit; Evidence from Eastern Europe and Central Asia," MPRA Paper 3378, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Cristina Martínez-Sola & Pedro García-Teruel & Pedro Martínez-Solano, 2014. "Trade credit and SME profitability," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 561-577, March.
  11. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00609625 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Fabbri, Daniela & Klapper, Leora, 2008. "Market power and the matching of trade credit terms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4754, The World Bank.
  13. Giuseppe Marotta, 2005. "When do trade credit discounts matter? Evidence from Italian firm-level data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 403-416.
  14. Daniela Fabbri & Annamaria Menichini, 2012. "The Commitment Problem of Secured Lending," CSEF Working Papers 318, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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