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Financing constraints, cash-flow risk, and corporate investment

  • Hirth, Stefan
  • Viswanatha, Marc

Using an analytically tractable two-period model of a financially constrained firm, we derive an investment threshold that is U-shaped in cash holdings. We show analytically the relevant trade-offs leading to the U-shape: the firm balances financing costs for present and future investment, respectively. Our main argument is that financing costs today are more important than the risk of future financing costs. The empirically testable implications are that low-cash firms facing financing costs today are more reluctant to invest if they have less cash, or if their future cash flows are more risky. On the other hand, cash-rich firms facing no financing costs today invest in less favorable projects (i.e., forgo their real option to wait) if they have less cash, or if their future cash flows are more risky. The magnitude of these effects is amplified by the degree of market frictions that the firms are facing.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929119911001015
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1496-1509

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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1496-1509
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.09.002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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  1. Bolton, Patrick & Chen, Hui & Wang, Neng, 2013. "Market timing, investment, and risk management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 40-62.
  2. Lyandres, Evgeny, 2007. "Costly external financing, investment timing, and investment-cash flow sensitivity," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 959-980, December.
  3. Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo & Weisbach, Michael S., 2008. "Corporate Financial and Investment Policies When Future Financing Is Not Frictionless," Working Paper Series 2008-16, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  4. Sean Cleary & Paul Povel & Michael Raith, 2003. "The U-shaped Investment Curve: Theory and Evidence," Finance 0311010, EconWPA.
  5. Whited, Toni M., 2006. "External finance constraints and the intertemporal pattern of intermittent investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 467-502, September.
  6. Stefan Hirth & Marliese Uhrig-Homburg, 2010. "Investment Timing when External Financing is Costly," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7-8), pages 929-949.
  7. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2007. "Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1429-1460, 2007 12.
  8. Hirth, Stefan & Uhrig-Homburg, Marliese, 2010. "Investment timing, liquidity, and agency costs of debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 243-258, April.
  9. Glenn W. Boyle & Graeme A. Guthrie, 2003. "Investment, Uncertainty, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2143-2166, October.
  10. Ang, James & Smedema, Adam, 2011. "Financial flexibility: Do firms prepare for recession?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 774-787, June.
  11. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
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