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Customer Relationships and the Provision of Trade Credit during a Recession

  • TSURUTA Daisuke
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    We investigate the effect of close customer relationships on small firms' provision of trade credit during the 2001-2003 recession in Japan. Many studies argue that close customer relationships are costly for suppliers because when their main customer has a high proportion of the firm's total sales, suppliers cannot easily find alternative customers. As a result, the supplier's bargaining position is weaker. Then suppliers that depend largely on their main customer cannot easily reduce their provision of trade credit, despite the need to do so during a recession. The results in our paper indicate that close customer relationships are not costly for suppliers in trade credit contracts. First, small businesses offer less trade credit, even if the proportion of sales to their main customers is high. Second, suppliers offer less trade credit if they are in financial distress and charged higher interest rates by banks, even when they are dependent on their main customers. Third, highly leveraged dependent suppliers reduce trade credit, unlike highly leveraged independent suppliers. This implies that dependent suppliers can cut back on trade credit in the presence of leverage. These findings imply that close customer relationships are beneficial for suppliers.

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    File URL: http://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/09e043.pdf
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    Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 09043.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:09043
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    1. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships And Informal Credit In Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320, November.
    2. Fabbri, Daniela & Klapper, Leora, 2008. "Market power and the matching of trade credit terms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4754, The World Bank.
    3. Burkart, Mike & Ellingsen, Tore & Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2004. "What You Sell is What You Lend? Explaining Trade Credit Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 4823, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Ono, Masanori, 2001. "Determinants of Trade Credit in the Japanese Manufacturing Sector," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 160-177, June.
    5. Mike Burkart & Tore Ellingsen, 2002. "In-kind finance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24940, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. 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.
    7. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, . "Trade Credit: Theories and Evidence," CRSP working papers 322, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    8. Jeffrey H. Nilsen, 1999. "Trade Credit and the Bank Lending Channel," Working Papers 99.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    9. Benjamin S. Wilner, 2000. "The Exploitation of Relationships in Financial Distress: The Case of Trade Credit," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 153-178, 02.
    10. Vicente Cuñat, 2002. "Trade credit: Suppliers as debt collectors and insurance providers," Economics Working Papers 625, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2004.
    11. 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.
    12. Carlos A. Molina & Lorenzo A. Preve, 2009. "Trade Receivables Policy of Distressed Firms and Its Effect on the Costs of Financial Distress," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 663-686, 09.
    13. Van Horen, Neeltje, 2007. "Customer market power and the provision of trade credit : evidence from Eastern Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4284, The World Bank.
    14. Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Watanabe, Wako, 2013. "Are trade creditors relationship lenders?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25, pages 24-38.
    15. Love, Inessa & Preve, Lorenzo A. & Sarria-Allende, Virginia, 2007. "Trade credit and bank credit: Evidence from recent financial crises," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 453-469, February.
    16. Nicholas Wilson & Barbara Summers, 2002. "Trade Credit Terms Offered by Small Firms: Survey Evidence and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3&4), pages 317-351.
    17. 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.
    18. Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2008. "The Implications of Trade Credit for Bank Monitoring: Suggestive Evidence from Japan," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 317-343, 06.
    19. TSURUTA Daisuke & Peng XU, 2007. "Debt Structure and Bankruptcy of Financially Distressed Small Businesses," Discussion papers 07032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    20. Olga Rodríguez-Rodríguez, 2006. "Trade Credit in Small and Medium Size Firms: An Application of the System Estimator With Panel Data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 103-126, October.
    21. Barbara Summers & Nicholas Wilson, 2003. "Trade credit and customer relationships," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6-7), pages 439-455.
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