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Trade Credit: Theories and Evidence

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  • Petersen, Mitchell A
  • Rajan, Raghuram G

Abstract

Firms may be financed by their suppliers rather than by financial institutions. There are many theories of trade credit, but few comprehensive empirical tests. This article attempts to fill the gap. We focus on small firms whose access to capital markets may be limited and find evidence suggesting that firms use more trade credit when credit from financial institutions is unavailable. Suppliers lend to constrained firms because they have a comparative advantage in getting information about buyers, they can liquidate assets more efficiently, and they have an implicit equity stake in the firms. Finally, firms with better access to credit offer more trade credit. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 10 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 661-91

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:10:y:1997:i:3:p:661-91

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  1. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  2. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1994. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," NBER Working Papers 4921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-37, August.
  4. Charles W. Calomiris & Charles P. Himmelberg & Paul Wachtel, 1994. "Commercial Paper, Corporate Finance and the Business Cycle: A Microeconomic Perspective," Working Papers 94-17, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Rogers, F. Halsey, 1994. "“Man to Loan $1500 and Serve as Clerk”: Trading Jobs for Loans in Mid-Nineteenth-Century San Francisco," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 34-63, March.
  6. Ferris, J Stephen, 1981. "A Transactions Theory of Trade Credit Use," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 243-70, May.
  7. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
  8. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
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  10. Smith, Janet Kiholm, 1987. " Trade Credit and Informational Asymmetry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(4), pages 863-72, September.
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  12. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
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  17. Brennan, Michael J & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Zechner, Josef, 1988. " Vendor Financing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1127-41, December.
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