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Trade Credit, Bank Loans, and Monitoring: Evidence from Japan

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  • Yoshiro Miwa

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • J. Mark Ramseyer

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Firms in modern developed economies can choose to borrow from banks or from trade partners. Using first-difference and difference-in-differences regressions on Japanese manufacturing data, we explore the way they make that choice. Whether small or large, they do borrow from their trade partners heavily, and apparently at implicit rates that track the explicit rates banks would charge them. Nonetheless, they do not treat bank loans and trade credit interchangeably. Disproportionately, they borrow from banks when they anticipate needing money for relatively long periods, and turn to trade partners when they face short-term exigencies they did not expect. This contrast in the term structures of bank loans and trade credit follows from the fundamentally different way bankers and trade partners reduce the default risks they face. Because bankers seldom know their borrowers' industries first-hand, they rely on guarantees and security interests. Because trade partners know those industries well, they instead monitor their borrowers closely. Because the costs to creating security interests are heavily front-loaded, bankers focus on long-term debt. Because the costs of monitoring debtors are on-going, trade creditors do not. Despite the enormous theoretical literature on bank monitoring, banks apparently monitor very little.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2005. "Trade Credit, Bank Loans, and Monitoring: Evidence from Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-381, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2005cf381
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. TSURUTA Daisuke, 2007. "Credit Contagion and Trade Credit Supply: Evidence from Small Business Data in Japan," Discussion papers 07043, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Watanabe, Wako, 2013. "Are trade creditors relationship lenders?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25, pages 24-38.
    3. Sandra M. Leitner & Robert Stehrer, 2015. "What Determines SMEs’ Funding Obstacles to Bank Loans and Trade Credits?," wiiw Working Papers 114, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    4. Kenshi Taketa & Gregory F. Udell, 2007. "Lending Channels and Financial Shocks: The Case of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Trade Credit and the Japanese Banking Crisis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 25(2), pages 1-44, November.
    5. Daisuke Tsuruta, 2008. "Bank information monopoly and trade credit: do only banks have information about small businesses?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(8), pages 981-996.
    6. Rajendra R. Vaidya, 2011. "The Determinants of trade credit: Evidence from Indian manufacturing firms," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-012, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    7. Scott, Jonathan A. & Dunkelberg, William C., 2010. "Competition for small firm banking business: Bank actions versus market structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2788-2800, November.

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