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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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    File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/1994/pdf/rdp9402.pdf
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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. Warwick J. McKibbin & Eric S. Siegloff, 1987. "A Note on Aggregate Investment in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp8709, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    2. Amihud, Yakov & Lev, Baruch & Travlos, Nickolaos G, 1990. " Corporate Control and the Choice of Investment Financing: The Case of Corporate Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 603-16, June.
    3. Michael Devereux & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1990. "Investment, Financial Factors, and Cash Flow: Evidence from U.K. Panel Data," NBER Chapters, in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 279-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. 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.
    8. Gertler, Mark, 1988. "Financial Structure and Aggregate Economic Activity: An Overview," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(3), pages 559-88, August.
    9. Karen Mills & Steve Morling & Warren Tease, 1993. "Balance Sheet Restructuring and Investment," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9308, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
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    13. Eileen Mauskopf & Jeffrey Fuhrer & Peter Tinsley, 1990. "The transmission channels of monetary policy: how have they changed?," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Dec, pages 985-1008.
    14. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    15. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    16. Geoffrey Shuetrim & Philip Lowe & Steve Morling, 1993. "The Determinants of Corporate Leverage: A Panel Data Analysis," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9313, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    17. Ben S. Bernanke & John Y. Campbell, 1988. "Is There a Corporate Debt Crisis?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 83-140.
    18. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    19. 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.
    20. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    21. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1992. "On the Estimation of Panel-Data Models with Serial Correlation When Instruments Are Not Strictly Exogenous: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 26-29, January.
    22. Schaller, Huntley, 1990. "A Re-examination of the Q Theory of Investment Using U.S. Firm Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 309-25, Oct.-Dec..
    23. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Oleksandr Talavera & Christopher Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Andreas Stephan, 2005. "Uncertainty Determinants of Corporate Liquidity," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 73, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.

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