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Trade credit: Suppliers as debt collectors and insurance providers

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  • Vicente Cuñat

Abstract

There are two fundamental puzzles about trade credit: why does it appear to be so expensive,and why do input suppliers engage in the business of lending money? This paper addresses and answers both questions analysing the interaction between the financial and the industrial aspects of the supplier-customer relationship. It examines how, in a context of limited enforceability of contracts, suppliers may have a comparative advantage over banks in lending to their customers because they hold the extra threat of stopping the supply of intermediate goods. Suppliers may also act as lenders of last resort, providing insurance against liquidity shocks that may endanger the survival of their customers. The relatively high implicit interest rates of trade credit result from the existence of default and insurance premia. The implications of the model are examined empirically using parametric and nonparametric techniques on a panel of UK firms.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:625
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade credit; debt enforceability; liquidity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing

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