IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eneeco/v58y2016icp116-124.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Free cash flows and overinvestment: Further evidence from Chinese energy firms

Author

Listed:
  • Zhang, Dayong
  • Cao, Hong
  • Dickinson, David G.
  • Kutan, Ali M.

Abstract

In the recent years, Chinese energy firms have accumulated significant free cash flows due to higher energy prices and government subsidies and also have invested heavily. An important empirical question is whether the Chinese energy firms tend to misallocate resources due to growing free cash flows. In this paper, we test whether they make some sub-optimal investment decisions following the well-established free cash flow problem in the finance literature, originally identified by Jensen (1986) for the US oil sector. Using a dynamic panel model for the period 2001–2012 for the Chinese energy-related public listed firms, we find evidence supporting the free cash flow hypothesis, suggesting overinvestment problems in the Chinese energy sector. In addition, we observe that firm size and corporate governance structure are important determinants of the Chinese energy firms' investment decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Dayong & Cao, Hong & Dickinson, David G. & Kutan, Ali M., 2016. "Free cash flows and overinvestment: Further evidence from Chinese energy firms," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 116-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:58:y:2016:i:c:p:116-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2016.06.018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988316301657
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hubbard, R Glenn & Kashyap, Anil K, 1992. "Internal Net Worth and the Investment Process: An Application to U.S. Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 506-534, June.
    2. Basher, Syed Abul & Haug, Alfred A. & Sadorsky, Perry, 2012. "Oil prices, exchange rates and emerging stock markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 227-240.
    3. Gilchrist, Simon & Himmelberg, Charles P., 1995. "Evidence on the role of cash flow for investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 541-572, December.
    4. Perfect, Steven B. & Peterson, David R. & Peterson, Pamela P., 1995. "Self-tender offers: The effects of free cash flow, cash flow signalling, and the measurement of Tobin's q," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1005-1023, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Huang, Wei & Jiang, Fuxiu & Liu, Zhibiao & Zhang, Min, 2011. "Agency cost, top executives' overconfidence, and investment-cash flow sensitivity -- Evidence from listed companies in China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 261-277, June.
    7. Poncet, Sandra & Steingress, Walter & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2010. "Financial constraints in China: Firm-level evidence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 411-422, September.
    8. Nazlioglu, Saban & Soytas, Ugur & Gupta, Rangan, 2015. "Oil prices and financial stress: A volatility spillover analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 278-288.
    9. Lamont, Owen, 1997. " Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 83-109, March.
    10. Chen, Alex A. & Cao, Hong & Zhang, Dayong & Dickinson, David G., 2013. "The impact of shareholding structure on firm investment: Evidence from Chinese listed companies," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 85-100.
    11. Lang, Larry H. P. & Stulz, ReneM. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1991. "A test of the free cash flow hypothesis*1: The case of bidder returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 315-335, October.
    12. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:5:p:169-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Zhao, Lin & Zhang, Xun & Wang, Shouyang & Xu, Shanying, 2016. "The effects of oil price shocks on output and inflation in China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 101-110.
    14. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    15. Tamim Bayoumi & Hui Tong & Shang-Jin Wei, 2012. "The Chinese Corporate Savings Puzzle: A Firm-level Cross-Country Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Capitalizing China, pages 283-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Ibrahim Turhan & Erk Hacihasanoglu & Ugur Soytas, 2013. "Oil Prices and Emerging Market Exchange Rates," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(S1), pages 21-36, January.
    17. Broadstock, David C. & Cao, Hong & Zhang, Dayong, 2012. "Oil shocks and their impact on energy related stocks in China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1888-1895.
    18. 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.
    19. Qian Sun & Wilson H. S. Tong & Jing Tong, 2002. "How Does Government Ownership Affect Firm Performance? Evidence from China's Privatization Experience," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1&2), pages 1-27.
    20. Ke Tang & Changyun Wang & Shiyi Wang, 2014. "China's Imported Inflation and Global Commodity Prices," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 162-177, May.
    21. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:3s:p:169-189 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Balcilar, Mehmet & Gupta, Rangan & Miller, Stephen M., 2015. "Regime switching model of US crude oil and stock market prices: 1859 to 2013," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 317-327.
    23. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:5:p:143-158 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Pawlina, G. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2005. "Is Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivity Caused by the Agency Costs or Asymmetric Information? Evidence from the UK," Discussion Paper 2005-001, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    25. Gormus, N. Alper & Soytas, Ugur & Diltz, J. David, 2014. "Volatility transmission between energy-related asset classes," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 246-259.
    26. Lin, Boqiang & Du, Kerui, 2013. "Technology gap and China's regional energy efficiency: A parametric metafrontier approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 529-536.
    27. Stephen Bond & Costas Meghir, 1994. "Dynamic Investment Models and the Firm's Financial Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 197-222.
    28. Qi, Daqing & Wu, Woody & Zhang, Hua, 2000. "Shareholding structure and corporate performance of partially privatized firms: Evidence from listed Chinese companies," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(5), pages 587-610, October.
    29. 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.
    30. repec:mes:emfitr:v:51:y:2015:i:4:p:798-811 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Grzegorz Pawlina & Luc Renneboog, 2005. "Is Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivity Caused by Agency Costs or Asymmetric Information? Evidence from the UK," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 11(4), pages 483-513.
    32. repec:mes:emfitr:v:51:y:2015:i:2:p:391-399 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Jussi Nikkinen & Kashif Saleem & Minna Martikainen & Mohammed Omran, 2014. "Oil Risk and Asset Returns: Evidence from Emerging Markets in the Middle East," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(03), pages 169-189, May.
    34. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:5:p:193-205 is not listed on IDEAS
    35. Tan, Xiaomei, 2013. "China's overseas investment in the energy/resources sector: Its scale, drivers, challenges and implications," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 750-758.
    36. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    37. Xu, Jin-Hua & Fan, Ying & Yu, Song-Min, 2014. "Energy conservation and CO2 emission reduction in China's 11th Five-Year Plan: A performance evaluation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 348-359.
    38. Bo, Hong & Driver, Ciaran & Lin, Hsiang-Chun Michael, 2014. "Corporate investment during the financial crisis: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-12.
    39. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:5:p:206-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    40. Xu, Xiaonian & Wang, Yan, 1999. "Ownership structure and corporate governance in Chinese stock companies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 75-98.
    41. Sukcharoen, Kunlapath & Zohrabyan, Tatevik & Leatham, David & Wu, Ximing, 2014. "Interdependence of oil prices and stock market indices: A copula approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 331-339.
    42. Wei, K.C. John & Zhang, Yi, 2008. "Ownership structure, cash flow, and capital investment: Evidence from East Asian economies before the financial crisis," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 118-132, April.
    43. Chow, Clement Kong-Wing & Fung, Michael Ka Yiu, 2000. "Small businesses and liquidity constraints in financing business investment: Evidence from shanghai's manufacturing sector," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 363-383, July.
    44. Griffin, James M, 1988. "A Test of the Free Cash Flow Hypothesis: Results from the Petroleum Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 76-82, February.
    45. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:5:p:159-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. Sari, Ramazan & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & Soytas, Ugur, 2010. "Dynamics of oil price, precious metal prices, and exchange rate," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 351-362, March.
    47. Soytas, Ugur & Oran, Adil, 2011. "Volatility spillover from world oil spot markets to aggregate and electricity stock index returns in Turkey," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 354-360, January.
    48. repec:mes:emfitr:v:50:y:2014:i:6:p:209-228 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Free cash flow; Energy firms; Fundamental Q; Dynamic panel data model; Panel VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:eee:eneeco:v:58:y:2016:i:c:p:116-124. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.