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The Influence of Financial Factors on Corporate Investment

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  • Karen Mills

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Steven Morling

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Warren Tease

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

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    Abstract

    Recent theoretical developments have shown that cash flows and the structure of a firm’s balance sheet may have an important influence on investment. Establishing a link between cash flows, leverage and investment provides insights into the way that monetary policy and cyclical factors more generally influence the corporate sector. If cash flows are an important determinant of investment, then changes in monetary policy (by changing interest rates) will influence investment through a cash flow effect as well as through altering the rate at which the returns to investment are discounted. If this is the case, the higher leverage of the corporate sector implies, other things being equal, that monetary policy may have a larger impact on investment than in the past. Furthermore, it suggests that the effects of monetary policy will be felt unevenly across the corporate sector. The cash flows of highly geared firms will be more sensitive to changes in interest rates than cash flows of firms with minimal leverage. In this paper we use panel-data analysis to examine the impact of financial factors on investment decisions of firms in the Australian corporate sector. We find strong support for the influence of financial factors on investment decisions. Leverage, internally-generated cash flows, and the stock of cash and liquid financial assets are all important influences on investment behaviour, particularly for smaller firms, highly leveraged firms, and firms with high retention ratios.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp9402.

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    Date of creation: May 1994
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    Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp9402

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    References

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    1. D. E. Allen, 1991. "The Determinants of the Capital Structure of Listed Australian Companies: The Financial Manager's Perspective," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 16(2), pages 103-128, December.
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    20. Stephen A. Ross, 1977. "The Determination of Financial Structure: The Incentive-Signalling Approach," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 23-40, Spring.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Andreas Stephan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2006. "Uncertainty Determinants of Corporate Liquidity," Working Papers 2006_1, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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