We investigate the relation between local financial development and trade credit in an integrated financial market. Our results suggest that trade credit complements the formal finance of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the local level. Provincial banking development in Italy increases the provision of trade credit by SMEs and stimulates the redistribution of loans via trade credit. However, cooperative banking reduces the use of trade credit at the local level. Evidence shows that lower levels of provincial banking development are linked with a stronger decline in trade credit at the start of the global financial crisis. We also find that SMEs in provinces with industrial districts use more trade credit. Our results confirm that local differences in banking development and the trade credit policy of SMEs within countries matter, adding to earlier findings that the provision of trade credit is complementary to the development of financial institutions at the country level.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 14, 2014
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