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CEP discussion paper
Exporters, Importers and Credit Constraints
Mirabelle Muûls
October 2012
Paper No' CEPDP1169:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: F10; F14; G01; G20

Tags: credit constraints; international trade; firms’ heterogeneity; imports; exports

This paper analyses the interaction between credit constraints and trading behaviour. I construct a unique dataset containing firm-level trade transactions data, balance sheets and credit scores from an independent credit insurance company for Belgian manufacturing firms between 1999 and 2007. Firms are more likely to be exporting or importing if they enjoy lower credit constraints. Also, firms that have better credit rating export and import more, and more products to and from more countries. Whilst importing and exporting behavior are very similar in a static view, an analysis of how various margins of trade are related to credit constraints show a significant difference between the two. In the case of exports, it is the extensive margin of exports in terms of destinations that is significantly associated with credit constraints whereas for imports it is the extensive margin in terms of products.