The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Many studies examine why firms are financed by their suppliers, but few empirical studies look at the macroeconomic implications of such financial arrangements. Using disaggregated panel data, we examine how firms extend and use trade credit. We find that, controlling for the transactions or asset management motive, both accounts payable and receivable increase with tighter policy, implying that trade credit helps firms absorb the effect of a credit contraction. A comparison of S&P 500 firms with smaller firms, however, provides no evidence that when policy is tightened, large firms play the role of credit suppliers more actively than small firms.