Accounts Receivable Factoring As A Response To Weak Governance: Panel Data Evidence

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Daniel J. Borgia
Mushfiq Swaleheen
Travis L. Jones
H. Shelton Weeks Weeks

Keywords

panel data, factoring, governance, economic development

Abstract

Accounts receivable factoring is a financing arrangement that occurs when a business sells its accounts receivables.  Factoring has emerged as the most important source of working capital for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in many economies because weak laws, poor enforcement, and the associated informational opacity put the SMEs at a disadvantage when borrowing.  This paper presents an empirical analysis of cross-country differences in factoring activity to determine whether the quality of governance is a significant determinant of the level of factoring activity.  Our analysis is based on a reduced form model that relates a country’s factoring activity (turnover) to the quality of governance, while controlling for other determinants of factoring discussed in the literature.  We use data for a panel of 59 countries, over the period 1995 – 2005.  Our findings support the hypothesis that factoring is more prevalent in economies with weak governance.  Additionally, we present evidence that factor turnover is decreasing in the incidence of corruption.

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