IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Persistent Large Cash Reserves Hinder Performance?


  • Mikkelson, Wayne H.
  • Partch, M. Megan


Conservative financial policies are often criticized as serving the interests of managers rather than the interests of stockholders. We test this argument by examining the operating performance and other characteristics of firms that for a five-year period held more than one-fourth of their assets in cash and cash equivalents. Following the five-year period, operating performance of high cash firms is comparable to or greater than the performance of firms matched by size and industry or by a measure of proclivity to hold substantial cash. In addition, proxies for managerial incentive problems, such as ownership and board characteristics, are not unusual and do not explain differences in operating performance among high cash firms. We find that high cash holdings are accompanied by greater investment, particularly R&D expenditures, and by greater growth in assets. For firms that persistently hold large cash reserves, we conclude that such policies support investment without hindering corporate performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Partch, M. Megan, 2003. "Do Persistent Large Cash Reserves Hinder Performance?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 275-294, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:38:y:2003:i:02:p:275-294_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:38:y:2003:i:02:p:275-294_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.