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.
After a decade of rapid growth, industrialization has lost ground with shrinking manufacturing sector and high informality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This paper explores how land market and labor regulations affect factor allocative efficiency and firm performance in SSA. Using pooled data on firm balance sheets for 40 countries in SSA, the results identify significant land and labor misallocations due to limited market allocation of land and inappropriate regulatory policies. Using variations in ethnic diversity and the intensity of regulatory actions to peer firms at subnational level as instrumental variables, local average treatment effects show large productivity gains from factor reallocations, especially for marginally productive firms. Panel data results for Nigerian firms confirm factor market inefficiency as a principal driver of declining productivity, while showing that the 2011 minimum wage reform increased firm size. The results imply that improving formal regulation is critical to support firm growth at the stage of weak legal capacity, while informal sector monitoring gets effective as legal capacity develops.
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.