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Title: Financial fragility, trade credit and contagion effects during the crisis: a spatial econometric approach to firm-level data
Authors: Lamieri, Marco
Sangalli, Ilaria
Issue Date: Mar-2016
Document Type: Research paper
Abstract: The number of distressed manufacturing firms increased sharply during recessionary phase 2009-13. Financial indebtness traditionally plays a key role in assessing firm solvency but contagion effects that originate from the supply chain are usually neglected in literature. Firm interconnections, captured via the trade credit channel, represent a primary vehicle of individual shocks’ propagation, especially during an economic downturn, when liquidity tensions arise. A representative sample of 11,920 Italian manufacturing firms is considered to model a two-step econometric design, where chain reactions in terms of trade credit accumulation (i.e. default of payments to suppliers) are primarily analyzed by resorting to a spatial autoregressive approach (SAR). Spatial interactions are modeled based on a unique dataset of firm-to-firm transactions registered before the outbreak of the crisis. The second step in instead a binary outcome model where trade credit chains are considered together with data on the bank-firm relationship to assess determinants of distress likelihoods in 2009-13. Results show that outstanding trade debt is affected by the liquidity position of a firm and by positive spatial effects. Trade credit chain reactions are found to exert, in turn, a positive impact on distress likelihoods during the crisis. The latter effect is comparable in magnitude to the one exerted by individual financial rigidity, and stresses the importance to include complex interactions between firms in the analysis of the solvency behavior.
Appears in Collections:The impact of the Great Recession on manufacturing firms. Workshop proceedings

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