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The technological constraints on sustaining production chains have been discussed extensively by development economists, but the role of financial linkages has received less attention. In a model of recursive moral hazard for a manufacturing supply chain, we show that the structure
of interlocking receivables and payables serve as the glue for the production chain that sustains complex manufacturing output. The inefficiency associated with recursive moral hazard can be mitigated through optimal delays in payments along the chain. However, efficiency requires large stocks
of working capital, and invoice prices are high due to implicit amortization costs of inter-firm credit.
The American Economic Review is a general-interest economics journal. The journal is published quarterly and contains articles on a broad range of topics. Established in 1911, the AER is among the nation's oldest and most respected scholarly journals in the economics profession.