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International Trade, Risk and the Role of Banks

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  • Friederike Niepmann
  • Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr

Abstract

Banks play a critical role in international trade by providing trade finance products that reduce the risk of exporting. This paper employs two new data sets to shed light on the magnitude and structure of this business, which, as we show, is highly concentrated in a few large banks. The two principal trade finance instruments, letters of credit and documentary collections, covered about 10 percent of U.S. exports in 2012. They are preferred for larger transactions, which indicates the existence of substantial fixed costs in the provision and use of these instruments. Letters of credit are employed the most for exports to countries with intermediate degrees of contract enforcement. Compared to documentary collections, they are used for riskier destinations. We provide a model of payment contract choice that rationalizes these empirical findings and discuss implications for the ongoing provision of trade finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Friederike Niepmann & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2014. "International Trade, Risk and the Role of Banks," CESifo Working Paper Series 4761, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4761
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Jozef Konings & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Did export promotion help firms weather the crisis?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(88), pages 653-702.
    2. Matthieu Crozet & Julian Hinz, 2016. "Collateral Damage: The impact of the Russia sanctions on sanctioning countries’ exports," Working Papers 2016-16, CEPII research center.
    3. Kemal Turkcan, 2016. "Evolving Patterns of Payment Methods in Turkish Foreign Trade," World Journal of Applied Economics, WERI-World Economic Research Institute, vol. 2(1), pages 3-29, June.
    4. Liu, Tao & Lu, Dong & Zhang, Ruifeng, 2017. "Currency choice in international trade: a new monetarist approach and firm-level evidence," MPRA Paper 79149, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. C. Fritz Foley & Kalina Manova, 2015. "International Trade, Multinational Activity, and Corporate Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 119-146, August.
    6. Niepmann, Friederike & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2017. "No guarantees, no trade: How banks affect export patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 338-350.
    7. Michalski , Tomasz & Ors , Evren, 2014. "Risk-Based Capital Requirements for Banks and International Trade," Les Cahiers de Recherche 1064, HEC Paris.
    8. Türkcan Kemal & Avsar Veysel, 2016. "Investigating the Role of Contract Enforcement and Financial Costs on the Payment Choice: Industry-Level Evidence from Turkey," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 135-160, March.
    9. Hazera Akter & Suborna Barua, 2016. "International trade financing: a comparative study on the performance of state-owned and private commercial banks of Bangladesh," International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(2), pages 164-186.
    10. Crozet, Matthieu & Hinz, Julian, 2016. "Friendly fire - the trade impact of the Russia sanctions and counter-sanctions," Kiel Working Papers 2059, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. A. Berthou & G. Horny & J-S. Mésonnier, 2018. "Dollar Funding and Firm-Level Exports," Working papers 666, Banque de France.
    12. Liu, Tao, 2015. "Trade finance and international currency," MPRA Paper 64362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Lyonnet, Victor & Martin, Julien & Mejean, Isabelle, 2016. "Invoicing Currency and Financial Hedging," CEPR Discussion Papers 11700, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade finance; multinational banks; risk; letter of credit;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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