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Trade credit and international trade during the 2008-09 global financial crisis


  • Brahima Coulibaly
  • Horacio Sapriza
  • Andrei Zlate


This paper studies the role of the credit crunch in the severe contraction of trade and economic activity at the height of the 2008-09 global financial crisis, using firm-level data from six emerging market economies in Asia. We construct firm-specific measures of global demand, which allow us to disentangle the effect of falling demand from that of financial constraints on sales. The results indicate that: (1) Although the fall in demand adversely affected the sales of all firms during the crisis, sales declined by less for firms with better pre-crisis financial conditions. (2) In the face of the decline in external financing opportunities, some firms relied more on trade credit from suppliers to supplement operating capital during the crisis, which allowed them to post relatively better sales. (3) Export-intensive firms with comparable financial vulnerability resorted less to trade credit as an alternative source of finance, and hence experienced sharper declines in sales than the domestically-oriented firms. These findings point to the presence of credit frictions among the factors that contributed to the disproportionately large decline in international trade during the crisis.

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  • Brahima Coulibaly & Horacio Sapriza & Andrei Zlate, 2011. "Trade credit and international trade during the 2008-09 global financial crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 1020, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1020

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Herman Kamil & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, 2016. "What Hinders Investment in the Aftermath of Financial Crises: Insolvent Firms or Illiquid Banks?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 756-769, October.
    6. Chor, Davin & Manova, Kalina, 2012. "Off the cliff and back? Credit conditions and international trade during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 117-133.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Del Prete & Stefano Federico, 2014. "Trade and finance: is there more than just 'trade finance'? Evidence from matched bank-firm data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 948, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Kazuo Ogawa & Takanori Tanaka, 2013. "The global financial crisis and small- and medium-sized enterprises in Japan: how did they cope with the crisis?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 401-417, August.
    3. Michalski, Tomasz & Ors, Evren, 2012. "(Interstate) Banking and (interstate) trade: Does real integration follow financial integration?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 89-117.
    4. Yuko Imura & Julia Thomas, 2015. "International Transmission of Credit Shocks in an Equilibrium Model with Production Heterogeneity," Staff Working Papers 15-19, Bank of Canada.
    5. Enders, Zeno & Peter, Alexandra, 2015. "Global Banking, Trade, and the International Transmission of the Great Recession," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113022, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Giovanni Ferri & Pierluigi Murro, 2016. "A Credit Crunch Behind the Great Trade Collapse? Micro Evidence From Europe," CERBE Working Papers wpC10, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    7. Álvarez, Roberto & Sáez, Camila, 2014. "“Post financial crisis and exports expansion: Micro-evidence from Chilean exporters”," MPRA Paper 60637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Silvio Contessi & Francesca de Nicola, 2012. "What do we know about the relationship between access to finance and international trade?," Working Papers 2012-054, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    9. Michalski, Tomasz & Ors, Evren, 2012. "(Interstate) Banking and (interstate) trade: Does real integration follow financial integration?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 89-117.
    10. José María Serena Garralda & Garima Vasishtha, 2015. "What drives bank-intermediated trade finance? Evidence from cross-country analysis," Working Papers 1524, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    11. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson & Kei-Mu Yi, 2013. "The Great Trade Collapse," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 375-400, May.
    12. Stefano Costa & Carmine Pappalardo & Claudio Vicarelli, 2017. "Internationalization choices and Italian firm performance during the crisis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 753-769, March.
    13. Fischer, Stanley, 2015. "Monetary Policy Lessons and the Way Ahead : a speech at the Economic Club of New York, New York, New York, March 23, 2015," Speech 839, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. José Dorich & Michael K. Johnston & Rhys R. Mendes & Stephen Murchison & Yang Zhang, 2013. "ToTEM II: An Updated Version of the Bank of Canada’s Quarterly Projection Model," Technical Reports 100, Bank of Canada.
    15. Mattia Di Ubaldo, 2015. "Product Cost-Share: a Catalyst of the Trade Collapse," Working Paper Series 8015, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.


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