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International evidence on state ownership and trade credit: Opportunities and motivations

Ruiyuan Chen (), Sadok El Ghoul (), Omrane Guedhami (), Chuck C. Y. Kwok () and Robert Nash ()
Additional contact information
Ruiyuan Chen: West Virginia University
Sadok El Ghoul: University of Alberta
Omrane Guedhami: University of South Carolina
Chuck C. Y. Kwok: University of South Carolina
Robert Nash: Wake Forest University

Journal of International Business Studies, 2021, vol. 52, issue 6, No 5, 1158 pages

Abstract: Abstract Recent events, most notably the Global Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, have made it increasingly apparent that liquidity is synonymous with corporate survival. In this paper, we explore how governments can fulfill an important need as suppliers of liquidity. Building on the financing advantage view of state ownership, we theorize how state-owned enterprises (SOEs) may provide capital by offering trade credit to customer firms. The data indicate a positive relation between the level of state ownership and the provision of trade credit. Using an institution-focused framework, we further determine that the nation’s institutional environment systematically affects the opportunities and motivations for SOEs to grant trade credit. Specifically, we find that SOEs grant more trade credit in countries with less developed financial markets, weaker legal protection of creditors, less comprehensive information-sharing mechanisms, more collectivist societies, left-wing governments, and higher levels of unemployment. Firm-level factors also influence the credit-granting decisions of SOEs, with SOEs with lower levels of state ownership and higher extents of internationalization offering lower amounts of trade credit. Overall, our study offers novel insights regarding the important role of state-owned firms as providers of liquidity.

Keywords: privatization; state ownership; trade credit; formal institutions; informal institutions; financial market development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1057/s41267-021-00406-5

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