Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment
AbstractMost empirical models of investment rely on the assumption that firms are able to respond to prices set in centralized securities markets (through the "cost of capital" or "q"). An alternative approach emphasizes the importance of cash flow as a determinant of investment spending, because of a "financing hierarchy," in which internal finance has important cost advantages over external finance. We build on recent research concerning imperfections in markets for equity and debt. This work suggests that some firms do not have sufficient access to external capital markets to enable them to respond to changes in the cost of capital, asset prices, or tax-based investment incentives. To the extent that firms are constrained in their ability to raise funds externally, investment spending may be sensitive to the availability of internal finance. That is, investment may display "excess sensitivity" to movements in cash flow. In this paper, we work within the q theory of investment, and examine the importance of a financing hierarchy created by capital-market imperfections. Using panel data on individual manufacturing firms, we compare the investment behavior of rapidly growing firms that exhaust all of their internal finance with that of mature firms paying dividends. We find that q values remain very high for significant periods of time for firms paying no dividends, relative to those for mature firms. We also find that investment is more sensitive to cash flow for the group of firms that our model implies is most likely to face external finance constraints. These results are consistent with the augmented model we propose, which takes into account different financing regimes for different groups of firms. Some extensions and implications for public policy are discussed at the end.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2387.
Date of creation: Dec 1988
Date of revision:
Note: ME PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.