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Information asymmetry and the value of cash

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  • Drobetz, Wolfgang
  • Grüninger, Matthias C.
  • Hirschvogl, Simone
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    Abstract

    This study investigates the market value of corporate cash holdings in connection with firm-specific and time-varying information asymmetry. Analyzing a large international sample, we test two opposing hypotheses. According to the pecking order theory, adverse selection problems make external financing costly and imply a higher market value of a marginal dollar of cash in states with higher information asymmetry. In contrast, the free cash flow theory predicts that excessive cash holdings bundled with higher information asymmetry generate moral hazard problems and lead to a lower market value of a marginal dollar of cash. We use the dispersion of analysts' earnings per share forecasts as our main measure of firm-specific and time-varying information asymmetry. Extending the valuation regressions of Fama and French [Fama, E.F., French, K.R., 1998. Taxes, financing decisions, and firm value. Journal of Finance 53, 819-843], our results support the free cash flow theory and indicate that the value of corporate cash holdings is lower in states with a higher degree of information asymmetry.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 2168-2184

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:9:p:2168-2184

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    Related research

    Keywords: Cash holdings Value of cash Information asymmetry Analysts' forecasts;

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    Cited by:
    1. Huang, Ying & Elkinawy, Susan & Jain, Pankaj K., 2013. "Investor protection and cash holdings: Evidence from US cross-listing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 937-951.
    2. Iskandar-Datta, Mai E. & Jia, Yonghong, 2012. "Cross-country analysis of secular cash trends," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 898-912.
    3. Bruce Seifert & Olubunmi Faleye & Halit Gonenc, 2012. "Creditor Rights, Country Governance, and Corporate Cash Holdings," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1214, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    4. Bigelli, Marco & Sánchez-Vidal, Javier, 2012. "Cash holdings in private firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 26-35.
    5. Bessler, Wolfgang & Drobetz, Wolfgang & Haller, Rebekka & Meier, Iwan, 2013. "The international zero-leverage phenomenon," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 196-221.
    6. Xiao, Gang, 2013. "Legal shareholder protection and corporate R&D investment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 240-266.

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