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Trade credit: Suppliers as debt collectors and insurance providers

  • Vicente Cuñat

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 625.

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Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision: Feb 2004
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:625
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  4. Nilsen, Jeffrey H, 2002. "Trade Credit and the Bank Lending Channel," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 226-53, February.
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  9. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Brick, Ivan E & Fung, William K H, 1984. " Taxes and the Theory of Trade Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1169-76, September.
  11. Schwartz, Robert A., 1974. "An Economic Model of Trade Credit," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(04), pages 643-657, September.
  12. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1996. "Trade Credit: Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Biais, Bruno & Gollier, Christian, 1997. "Trade Credit and Credit Rationing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 903-37.
  14. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
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