The Determinants of Trade Credit: A Study of Portuguese Industrial Companies

Juliana Santos, Armando Silva


Despite the relevance of trade credit as a source of business financing, the topic is far from being considered exhausted, especially because there is no general and integrated theory explaining the causes and consequences of trade credit.Our research aims to contribute towards the literature that studies the determinants for granting and receiving trade credit. In this sequence, the present study seeks to empirically test some theories about the reasons why companies grant and receive commercial credit. For this purpose we apply a fixed effect model to a panel of 11 040 Portuguese industrial companies, of which 360 are large companies and the majority 10 680 are Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) for the period between 2003 and 2009. We conclude that large companies (with greater access to credit market) serve as financial intermediaries to their clients with less access to finance. In addition, it was observed that the supplier companies use trade credit as a legal means of price discrimination. Finally, financially constrained enterprises, especially in times of financial crisis, use commercial credit as an alternative source of funding, endorsing the hypothesis of substitution between trade credit and bank credit.

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International Journal of Financial Research
ISSN 1923-4023(Print)ISSN 1923-4031(Online)


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