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Trade credit contracts

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  • Klapper, Leora
  • Laeven, Luc
  • Rajan, Raghuram

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the unique role of trade credit and contracting terms as a way for both sellers and buyers to mange business risk. The authors use a novel and unique dataset on almost 30,000 supplier contracts for 56 large buyers and more than 24,000 suppliers in Europe and North America. The sample of buyers and suppliers includes firms of varying size, investment grade, and sectors. The paper finds evidence in support of four important, and not mutually exclusive, reasons for trade credit:1) as a method of financing; 2) as a means of price discrimination; 3) as a bond assuring buyers of product quality; and 4) as a screening mechanism to gauge buyer default risk. In particular, the analysis finds that the largest and most creditworthy buyers receive contracts with the longest maturities, as measured by net days, from smaller, investment grade suppliers. In comparison, early payment discounts seem to be used as a risk management tool to limit the potential nonpayment risk of trade credit. Early payment discounts are generally offered to smaller, non-investment grade buyers. The results suggest that contract terms are jointly determined by supplier and buyer characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5328.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5328

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Keywords: Debt Markets; Access to Finance; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Markets and Market Access; Investment and Investment Climate;

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References

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  1. Vincente Cuñat, 2000. "Trade Credit: Suppliers as Debt Collectors and Insurance Providers," FMG Discussion Papers dp365, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Chee K. Ng & Janet Kiholm Smith & Richard L. Smith, 1999. "Evidence on the Determinants of Credit Terms Used in Interfirm Trade," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 1109-1129, 06.
  3. Simon Johnson & John McMillan, 2002. "Courts and Relational Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-277, April.
  4. Raymond Fisman & Inessa Love, 2003. "Trade Credit, Financial Intermediary Development, and Industry Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 353-374, 02.
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  6. Giuseppe Marotta, 2001. "Is trade credit more expensive than bank loans? Evidence from Italian firm-level data," Heterogeneity and monetary policy 0103, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica.
  7. 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.
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  9. 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.
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  17. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1997. "Trade Credit: Theories and Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 661-91.
  18. Love, Inessa & Preve, Lorenzo A. & Sarria-Allende, Virginia, 2005. "Trade credit and bank credit : evidence from recent financial crises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3716, The World Bank.
  19. Frederic Boissay & Reint Gropp, 2007. "Trade Credit Defaults and Liquidity Provision by Firms," Working Paper Series: Finance and Accounting 179, Department of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
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  22. Burkart, Mike & Ellingsen, Tore, 2002. "In-Kind Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Biais, Bruno & Gollier, Christian, 1997. "Trade Credit and Credit Rationing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 903-37.
  24. Raymond Fisman & Mayank Raturi, 2004. "Does Competition Encourage Credit Provision? Evidence from African Trade Credit Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 345-352, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michalski, Tomasz & Örs, Evren, 2010. "(Inter-state) Banking and (Inter-state) Trade: Does Real Integration Follow Financial Integration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jinjarak, Yothin, 2013. "Supply Chains and Credit-Market Shocks: Some Implications for Emerging Markets," ADBI Working Papers 443, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  3. Eck, Katharina & Engemann, Martina & Schnitzer, Monika, 2012. "How Trade Credits Foster International Trade," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 379, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Wuttke, David A. & Blome, Constantin & Henke, Michael, 2013. "Focusing the financial flow of supply chains: An empirical investigation of financial supply chain management," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 773-789.
  5. Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2011. "Towards a Theory of Trade Finance," CESifo Working Paper Series 3414, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Harald Badinger & Thomas Url, 2012. "Export Credit Guarantees and Export Performance. Evidence from Austrian Firm-Level Data," WIFO Working Papers 423, WIFO.
  7. Garcia-Appendini, Emilia & Montoriol-Garriga, Judit, 2013. "Firms as liquidity providers: Evidence from the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 272-291.

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