IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Trade credit contracts

  • Klapper, Leora
  • Laeven, Luc
  • Rajan, Raghuram

This paper provides new evidence on the unique role of trade credit and contracting terms as a way for both sellers and buyers to mange business risk. The authors use a novel and unique dataset on almost 30,000 supplier contracts for 56 large buyers and more than 24,000 suppliers in Europe and North America. The sample of buyers and suppliers includes firms of varying size, investment grade, and sectors. The paper finds evidence in support of four important, and not mutually exclusive, reasons for trade credit:1) as a method of financing; 2) as a means of price discrimination; 3) as a bond assuring buyers of product quality; and 4) as a screening mechanism to gauge buyer default risk. In particular, the analysis finds that the largest and most creditworthy buyers receive contracts with the longest maturities, as measured by net days, from smaller, investment grade suppliers. In comparison, early payment discounts seem to be used as a risk management tool to limit the potential nonpayment risk of trade credit. Early payment discounts are generally offered to smaller, non-investment grade buyers. The results suggest that contract terms are jointly determined by supplier and buyer characteristics.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5328.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5328
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Antràs, Pol & Foley, C. Fritz, 2011. "Poultry in Motion: A Study of International Trade Finance Practices," CEPR Discussion Papers 8422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Lee, Yul W. & Stowe, John D., 1993. "Product Risk, Asymmetric Information, and Trade Credit," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 285-300, June.
  3. Brennan, Michael J & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Zechner, Josef, 1988. " Vendor Financing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1127-41, December.
  4. Giuseppe Marotta, 2001. "Is trade credit more expensive than bank loans? Evidence from Italian firm-level data," Heterogeneity and monetary policy 0103, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica.
  5. Mian, Shehzad L & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1992. " Accounts Receivable Management Policy: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 169-200, March.
  6. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, . "Trade Credit: Theories and Evidence," CRSP working papers 322, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Mariassunta Giannetti & Mike Burkart & Tore Ellingsen, 0. "What You Sell Is What You Lend? Explaining Trade Credit Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(4), pages 1261-1298.
  8. Mike Burkart & Tore Ellingsen, 2004. "In-Kind Finance: A Theory of Trade Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 569-590, June.
  9. Love, Inessa & Preve, Lorenzo A. & Sarria-Allende, Virginia, 2005. "Trade credit and bank credit : evidence from recent financial crises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3716, The World Bank.
  10. Vincente Cuñat, 2000. "Trade Credit: Suppliers as Debt Collectors and Insurance Providers," FMG Discussion Papers dp365, Financial Markets Group.
  11. Smith, Janet Kiholm, 1987. " Trade Credit and Informational Asymmetry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(4), pages 863-72, September.
  12. Benjamin S. Wilner, 2000. "The Exploitation of Relationships in Financial Distress: The Case of Trade Credit," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 153-178, 02.
  13. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships And Informal Credit In Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320, November.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:96:y:1981:i:2:p:243-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Raymond Fisman & Inessa Love, 2002. "Trade Credit, Financial Intermediary Development and Industry Growth," NBER Working Papers 8960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mike Burkart & Tore Ellingsen, 2002. "In-kind finance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24940, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Chee K. Ng & Janet Kiholm Smith & Richard L. Smith, 1999. "Evidence on the Determinants of Credit Terms Used in Interfirm Trade," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 1109-1129, 06.
  18. Fabbri, Daniela & Menichini, Anna Maria C., 2010. "Trade credit, collateral liquidation, and borrowing constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 413-432, June.
  19. Schiff, Michael & Lieber, Zvi, 1974. "A Model for the Integration of Credit and Inventory Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(1), pages 133-40, March.
  20. Simon Johnson & John McMillan, 2002. "Courts and Relational Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-277, April.
  21. Boissay, Frédéric & Gropp, Reint, 2007. "Trade credit defaults and liquidity provision by firms," Working Paper Series 0753, European Central Bank.
  22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1285-1320 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Yungsan Kim & Woon Gyu Choi, 2003. "Trade Credit and the Effect of Macro-Financial Shocks: Evidence From U.S. Panel Data," IMF Working Papers 03/127, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Raymond Fisman & Mayank Raturi, 2004. "Does Competition Encourage Credit Provision? Evidence from African Trade Credit Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 345-352, February.
  25. Biais, Bruno & Gollier, Christian, 1997. "Trade Credit and Credit Rationing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 903-37.
  26. Van Horen, Neeltje, 2004. "Trade Credit as a Competitiveness Tool;Evidence from Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 2792, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2005.
  27. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:2:p:407-43 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5328. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.