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Financing constraints, cash-flow risk, and corporate investment

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  • Hirth, Stefan
  • Viswanatha, Marc

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hirth, Stefan & Viswanatha, Marc, 2011. "Financing constraints, cash-flow risk, and corporate investment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1496-1509.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1496-1509 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.09.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Ang, James & Smedema, Adam, 2011. "Financial flexibility: Do firms prepare for recession?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 774-787, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo & Weisbach, Michael S., 2011. "Corporate financial and investment policies when future financing is not frictionless," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 675-693.
    5. 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.
    6. Cleary, Sean & Povel, Paul & Raith, Michael, 2007. "The U-Shaped Investment Curve: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 1-39, March.
    7. Bolton, Patrick & Chen, Hui & Wang, Neng, 2013. "Market timing, investment, and risk management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 40-62.
    8. 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.
    9. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2007. "Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, pages 1429-1460.
    10. 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.
    11. Glenn W. Boyle & Graeme A. Guthrie, 2003. "Investment, Uncertainty, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2143-2166, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael O'Connor Keefe & James Tate & Henk Berkman, 2013. "Is the relationship between investment and conditional cash flow volatility ambiguous, asymmetric or both?," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(4), pages 913-947, December.
    2. repec:eee:jbfina:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:221-235 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Meg Adachi-Sato & Chaiporn Vithessonthi, 2016. "Bank Systemic Risk and Corporate Investment," PIER Discussion Papers 17., Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Jan 2016.
    4. Robert Faff & Steven Cahan, 2013. "Mickey Mouse and the IDioT principle for assessing research contribution: discussion of ‘Is the relationship between investment and conditional cash flow volatility ambiguous, asymmetric or both?’," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(4), pages 949-960, December.
    5. Adachi-Sato, Meg & Vithessonthi, Chaiporn, 2017. "Bank systemic risk and corporate investment: Evidence from the US," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 151-163.
    6. Koussis, Nicos & Martzoukos, Spiros H. & Trigeorgis, Lenos, 2017. "Corporate liquidity and dividend policy under uncertainty," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 200-214.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1928-:d:116275 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Volkov, Nikanor I. & Smith, Garrett C., 2015. "Corporate diversification and firm value during economic downturns," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 160-175.
    9. Andrén, Niclas & Jankensgård, Håkan, 2015. "Wall of cash: The investment-cash flow sensitivity when capital becomes abundant," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 204-213.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate investment; Cash holdings; Cash-flow risk; Financing constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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