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No guarantees, no trade: how banks affect export patterns

This study provides evidence that shocks to the supply of trade finance have a causal effect on U.S. exports. The identification strategy exploits variation in the importance of banks as providers of letters of credit across countries. The larger a U.S. bank’s share of the trade finance market in a country is, the larger should be the effect on exports to that country if the bank reduces its supply of letters of credit. We find that supply shocks have quantitatively significant effects on export growth. A shock of one standard deviation to a country’s supply of trade finance decreases exports, on average, by 2 percentage points. The effect is much larger for exports to small and risky destinations and in times when aggregate uncertainty is high. Our results imply that global banks affect export patterns and suggest that trade finance played a role in the Great Trade Collapse.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 659.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:659
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  1. Galina Hale & Christopher Candelaria & Julian Caballero & Sergey Borisov, 2013. "Bank Linkages and International Trade," Research Department Publications IDB-WP-445, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Paravisini, Daniel & Rappoport, Veronica & Schnabl, Philipp & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2010. "Dissecting the Effect of Credit Supply on Trade: Evidence from Matched Credit-Export Data," Working Papers 2010-022, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  3. Thomas William Dorsey & Mika Saito & Armine Khachatryan & Irena Asmundson & Ioana Niculcea, 2011. "Trade and Trade Finance in the 2008-20+L460609 Financial Crisis," IMF Working Papers 11/16, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Sam Kortum & John Romalis & Brent Neiman & Jonathan Eaton, 2010. "Trade and the Global Recession," 2010 Meeting Papers 1340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, 05.
  6. Andreas Hoefele & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr & Zhihong Yu, 2013. "Payment Choice in International Trade: Theory and Evidence from Cross-country Firm Level Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 4350, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Friederike Niepmann & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2013. "Banks in international trade finance: evidence from the U.S," Staff Reports 633, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. 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.
  9. JaeBin Ahn, 2011. "A Theory of Domestic and International Trade Finance," IMF Working Papers 11/262, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Cornett, Marcia Millon & McNutt, Jamie John & Strahan, Philip E. & Tehranian, Hassan, 2011. "Liquidity risk management and credit supply in the financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 297-312, August.
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