Cheap Trade Credit and Competition in Downstream Markets

61 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 25 Nov 2018

See all articles by Mariassunta Giannetti

Mariassunta Giannetti

Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Swedish House of Finance

Nicolas Andre Benigno Serrano-Velarde

Bocconi University

Emanuele Tarantino

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 25, 2018

Abstract

Using a unique dataset with information on 20 million inter-firm transactions, we provide evidence that suppliers offer cheap trade credit to ease competition in downstream markets. We show theoretically that trade credit allows suppliers to transfer surplus to high-bargaining-power customers while preserving sales to other buyers. Suppliers optimally choose a trade credit limit up to which customers can purchase on account. This contractual feature allows suppliers to target infra-marginal units and to leave unaffected customers' marginal costs. Empirically, we find that suppliers grant trade credit to high-bargaining-power customers only when they fear the cannibalization of sales to other low-bargaining-power customers. Exploiting a law that lowered the cost of offering trade credit, we show that higher provision of trade credit to high-bargaining-power customers leads to an expansion of the suppliers' customer base and higher growth of sales to low-bargaining-power customers.

Keywords: Trade credit, competition, input prices, supply chains

JEL Classification: G3, D2, L1

Suggested Citation

Giannetti, Mariassunta and Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas Andre Benigno and Tarantino, Emanuele, Cheap Trade Credit and Competition in Downstream Markets (November 25, 2018). Swedish House of Finance Research Paper No. 17-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3070979 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3070979

Mariassunta Giannetti (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
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SE-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 736 9607 (Phone)
+46 8 312 327 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/mariassuntagiannetti/Home

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

Nicolas Andre Benigno Serrano-Velarde

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/nicolasserranovelarde/

Emanuele Tarantino

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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