Latest working paper:

In a new paper with Dennis Bams and Magda Pisa, we study the impact of trade credit on firm growth. Firms depend heavily on trade credit. We introduce a trade credit network into a structural model of the economy. In an empirical analysis of the model, we find that trade credit is an elusive insurance: as long as a firm is financially unconstrained and times are good, more trade credit enhances sales stability and insures against shocks to the firm’s suppliers. However, if a firm becomes financially constrained or times are bad, trade credit fails to insure against supplier shocks. Moreover, if the firm is low on cash, trade credit propagates shocks from a supplier to its customer. 

Research description:

It’s not so easy for me to answer the question: what type of economist are you? I studied international economic studies in Maastricht, specialized in monetary economics, and spent enough time as an exchange student in Toulouse to become familiar with industrial organization. For my PhD, I focused on banks. And most of my recent research concerns growth and innovation. So perhaps the best way of describing my research is by looking for the common denominators:

  • I am an applied economist: By no means can I claim to be an econometrician, but I do like applied research. One of my frequent expressions is “if only I could program my papers...” I like being creative, combining methodologies in a new way. Some of my favorite research has come about like this ... and some of my worst.
  • I specialize in benchmarking: A lot of my research makes use of stochastic frontier analysis. But in a broader sense, I am intrigued by aggregation issues, and benchmarking paradoxes: how can we compare performance (of firms, individuals, countries, industries), and at the same time take into account those little things that make us (firms, individuals, countries, industries) incomparable?
  • I am an international economist: Although I am mostly an applied micro economist, I gravitate towards international comparative studies. I like to think we can learn from the experience of other countries, as long as we look below the macro level (how’s that for a paradox).
© J.W.B. Bos 2014