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La détention d'actifs liquides par les entreprises. Quelles explications ?


  • Nicolas Couderc


This paper investigates the reason for corporate cash holdings. In the literature, there is a debate about the motives for these cash holdings (transaction cost theory or managerial opportunism thesis). To obtain new evidence, we focus on the consequences of excessive cash holdings on firm performance, using firm-level data of 4515 firms from Canada, France, Germany, Great-Britain and the USA over the period 1989-2002. We implement a bivariate probit model to take into account the potential joint determination of cash holdings and performance of the firm. We conclude that excessive cash holdings lead to poor firm performances, a result clearly in favor of the managerial opportunism thesis. Classification JEL : C33, G32.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Couderc, 2006. "La détention d'actifs liquides par les entreprises. Quelles explications ?," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 485-495.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_573_0485

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    2. Lee Pinkowitz & Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2003. "Do Firms in Countries with Poor Protection of Investor Rights Hold More Cash?," NBER Working Papers 10188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
    4. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    6. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan & Servaes, Henri, 2003. "International Corporate Governance and Corporate Cash Holdings," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 111-133, March.
    7. Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear two-step GMM estimators," IFS Working Papers W00/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Opler, Tim & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, Rene & Williamson, Rohan, 1999. "The determinants and implications of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-46, April.
    9. Kim, Chang-Soo & Mauer, David C. & Sherman, Ann E., 1998. "The Determinants of Corporate Liquidity: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(03), pages 335-359, September.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ozkan, Aydin & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2004. "Corporate cash holdings: An empirical investigation of UK companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2103-2134, September.
    13. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    14. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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