IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Neoclassical vs evolutionary theories of financial constraints: Critique and prospectus

  • Coad, Alex

Empirical models based on neoclassical theory predict that if investment is sensitive to current financial performance, this is a sign that something is 'wrong' and is to be regarded as a problem worthy of a policy intervention. Evolutionary theory, however, refers to the principle of 'growth of the fitter' to interpret investment-cash flow sensitivities as the workings of a healthy economy. In particular, I attack the neoclassical assumption of rational profit-maximizing firms. Such an assumption is not a helpful starting point for empirical studies into firm growth. One caricature of neoclassical theory could be "Assume firms are perfectly efficient. Why aren't they getting enough funding?", whereas evolutionary theory considers that firms are heterogeneous and that not all firms should grow. This essay highlights how interpretations and policy interventions can be framed by the initial modelling assumptions, even though these latter are often chosen with analytical tractability in mind rather than realism.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VFN-507BHM5-1/2/d8474e5c242f08a5575fd2465b4d4db4
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 206-218

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:21:y:2010:i:3:p:206-218
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/525148

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Audretsch, David B. & Elston, Julie Ann, 2000. "Does firm size matter? Evidence on the impact of liquidity constraint on firm investment behavior in Germany," HWWA Discussion Papers 113, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  2. Anil K. Kashyap & Owen A. Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Credit conditions and the cyclical behavior of inventories," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 93-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  4. Toni M. Whited, 1990. "Debt, liquidity constraints, and corporate investment: evidence from panel data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Oliner, Stephen D & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Sources of the Financing Hierarchy for Business Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 643-54, November.
  6. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2006. "An Evolutionary Model of Endogenous Business Cycles," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 3-34, February.
  7. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
  8. Patrick Musso & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "The impact of financial constraints on firm survival and growth," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 135-149, April.
  9. David Audretsch & Max Keilbach, 2004. "Entrepreneurship and regional growth: an evolutionary interpretation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(5), pages 605-616, December.
  10. Josh Lerner, 2002. "When Bureaucrats Meet Entrepreneurs: The Design of Effective "Public Venture Capital" Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F73-F84, February.
  11. Giovanni Dosi, 2005. "Statistical Regularities in the Evolution of Industries. A Guide through some Evidence and Challenges for the Theory," LEM Papers Series 2005/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  12. Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Syverson, Chad, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," IZA Discussion Papers 1705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Stephen Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 2003. "Investment, R&D and financial constraints in Britain and Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 771, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. 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.
  15. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2006. "Productivity, Profitability and Financial Fragility: Evidence from Italian Business Firms," LEM Papers Series 2006/08, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  16. Budina, Nina & Garretsen, Harry & de Jong, Elke, 2000. "Liquidity constraints and investment in transition economies - the case of Bulgaria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2278, The World Bank.
  17. 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.
  18. Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and the Process of Firms’ Entry, Survival and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2475, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1989. "Corporate structure, liquidity, and investment: evidence from Japanese industrial groups," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 82, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Vermeulen, Philip, 2000. "Business fixed investment: evidence of a financial accelerator in Europe," Working Paper Series 0037, European Central Bank.
  22. Stephen Nickell & Daphne Nicolitsas, 1995. "How does financial pressure affect firms?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20698, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  23. Sean Cleary, 1999. "The Relationship between Firm Investment and Financial Status," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 673-692, 04.
  24. Sean Cleary & Paul Povel & Michael Raith, 2003. "The U-shaped Investment Curve: Theory and Evidence," Finance 0311010, EconWPA.
  25. Geroski, Paul A & Machin, Stephen & Walters, Christopher F, 1997. "Corporate Growth and Profitability," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 171-89, June.
  26. Agarwal, Rajshree, 1998. "Evolutionary trends of industry variables," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 511-525, July.
  27. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & Stephen D. Oliner, 1999. "Investment behavior, observable expectations, and internal funds," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  28. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
  29. Degryse, H. & de Jong, A., 2001. "Investment and Internal Finance: Asymmetric Information or Managerial Discretion?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2001-86-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  30. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  31. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg, 1995. "Evidence on the Role of Cash Flow for Investment," Working Papers 95-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  32. Stephen D. Williamson, 1994. "Do informational frictions justify federal credit programs?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 523-551.
  33. Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1996. "Financial Constraints and Investment: Methodological Issues and International Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 70-89, Summer.
  34. Cressy, Robert, 1996. "Are Business Startups Debt-Rationed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1253-70, September.
  35. Andrew Benito, 2005. "Financial Pressure, Monetary Policy Effects and Inventories: Firm-level Evidence from a Market-based and a Bank-based Financial System," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(286), pages 201-224, 05.
  36. Steve Bond & Alexander Klemm & Rain Newton-Smith & Murtaza Syed & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2004. "The roles of expected profitability, Tobin's Q and cash flow in econometric models of company investment," IFS Working Papers W04/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  37. G. Reza Arabsheibani & David de Meza & John Maloney & Bernard Pearson, 2000. "And a Vision Appeared unto them of a Great Profit: Evidence of Self-Deception among the Self-Employed," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 99/9, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Feb 2000.
  38. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  39. Koellinger, Philipp & Minniti, Maria & Schade, Christian, 2007. ""I think I can, I think I can": Overconfidence and entrepreneurial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 502-527, August.
  40. E. Ray Canterbery, 1984. "Introduction," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 7(1), pages 4-6, October.
  41. Bond, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 65 Elsevier.
  42. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, 02.
  43. J. Stanley Metcalfe, 2007. "Alfred Marshall's Mecca: Reconciling the Theories of Value and Development," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(s1), pages S1-S22, 09.
  44. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Comparative analysis of firm demographics and survival: evidence from micro-level sources in OECD countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 365-391, June.
  45. de Meza, David & Webb, David, 1999. "Wealth, Enterprise and Credit Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 153-63, April.
  46. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:5:y:2007:i:12:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
  47. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  48. Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessandra Luzzi, 2004. "Do Liquidity Constraints Matter in Explaining Firm Size and Growth? Some Evidence from the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2004/08, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  49. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  50. Lerner, Joshua, 1998. ""Angel" financing and public policy: An overview," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 773-783, August.
  51. Guariglia, Alessandra, 2008. "Internal financial constraints, external financial constraints, and investment choice: Evidence from a panel of UK firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1795-1809, September.
  52. Winter, Sidney G, 1971. "Satisficing, Selection, and the Innovating Remnant," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 237-61, May.
  53. Guariglia, Alessandra, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Constraints on Inventory Investment: Evidence from a Panel of UK Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(261), pages 43-62, February.
  54. Paolo Angelini & Andrea Generale, 2008. "On the Evolution of Firm Size Distributions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 426-38, March.
  55. Domenico Sarno, 2005. "Liquidity Constraint on the Production of Firms in Southern Italy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 133-146, 09.
  56. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen & Devereux, Michael & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1992. "Investment and Tobin's Q: Evidence from company panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 233-257.
  57. Chiaromonte, Francesca & Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Heterogeneity, competition, and macroeconomic dynamics," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 39-63, June.
  58. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Not Valid Measures Of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 707-712, May.
  59. Alex Coad, 2005. "Testing the Principle of "Growth of the Fitter": The Relationship between Profits and Firm Growth," Emory Economics 0531, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  60. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
  61. repec:dgr:kubcen:2000116 is not listed on IDEAS
  62. Kadapakkam, Palani-Rajan & Kumar, P. C. & Riddick, Leigh A., 1998. "The impact of cash flows and firm size on investment: The international evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 293-320, March.
  63. Spiros Bougheas & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Is R & D Financially Constrained? Theory and Evidence from Irish Manufacturing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 159-174, March.
  64. Alessio Moneta & Doris Entner & Patrik Hoyer & Alex Coad, 2010. "Causal Inference by Independent Component Analysis with Applications to Micro- and Macroeconomic Data," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-031, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  65. Aydogan Alti, 2003. "How Sensitive Is Investment to Cash Flow When Financing Is Frictionless?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 707-722, 04.
  66. Goergen, Marc & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Investment policy, internal financing and ownership concentration in the UK," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 257-284, September.
  67. Audretsch, David B & Elston, Julie Ann, 1994. "Does Firm Size Matter? Evidence on the Impacts of Liquidity Constraints on Firm Investment Behaviour in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 1072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  68. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Useful: A Comment On Kaplan And Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705, May.
  69. Giuseppe Scellato, 2007. "Patents, firm size and financial constraints: an empirical analysis for a panel of Italian manufacturing firms," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 55-76, January.
  70. Schaller, Huntley, 1990. "A Re-examination of the Q Theory of Investment Using U.S. Firm Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 309-25, Oct.-Dec..
  71. Fazzari, Steven M & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Investment, Financing Decisions, and Tax Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 200-205, May.
  72. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2005. "Firm Growth and Liquidity Constraints: A Dynamic Analysis," GEMF Working Papers 2005-07, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  73. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2006. "Technologies as problem-solving procedures and technologies as input--output relations: some perspectives on the theory of production," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 173-202, February.
  74. Robert E. Carpenter & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1994. "Inventory (Dis)Investment, Internal Finance Fluctuations, and the Business Cycle," Macroeconomics 9401001, EconWPA.
  75. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125505 is not listed on IDEAS
  76. Stephen Bond & Costas Meghir, 1990. "Dynamic Investment Models and the Firm's Financial Policy," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0013, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
  77. Robert E. Carpenter & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1998. "Financing Constraints And Inventory Investment: A Comparative Study With High-Frequency Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 513-519, November.
  78. Robert E. Carpenter & Bruce C. Petersen, 2002. "Is The Growth Of Small Firms Constrained By Internal Finance?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 298-309, May.
  79. Chirinko, Robert S, 1993. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1875-1911, December.
  80. Steve Bond & Costas Meghir, 1994. "Financial constraints and company investment," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 1-18, May.
  81. Xin Chang & Tek Jun Tan & George Wong & Hongfeng Zhang, 2007. "Effects of financial constraints on corporate policies in Australia," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 47(1), pages 85-108.
  82. Robert S. Chirinko, 1993. "Business fixed investment spending: a critical survey of modeling strategies, empirical results, and policy implications," Research Working Paper 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  83. Xiaoqiang Hu & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1998. "Investment And Capital Market Imperfections: A Switching Regression Approach Using U.S. Firm Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 466-479, August.
  84. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  85. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
  86. Stephen Bond & Julie Ann Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Beno�t Mulkay, 2003. "Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Comparison Using Company Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 153-165, February.
  87. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  88. Little, I M D, 1987. "Small Manufacturing Enterprises in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 203-35, January.
  89. Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2000. "Measurement Error and the Relationship between Investment and q," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 1027-1057, October.
  90. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  91. Huntley Schaller, 1993. "Asymmetric Information, Liquidity Constraints and Canadian Investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 552-74, August.
  92. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, 02.
  93. Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Competition, Fisher's Principle and Increasing Returns in the Selection Process," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 327-46, November.
  94. Sidney G. Winter, 1964. "Economic "Natural Selection" and the Theory of the Firm," LEM Chapters Series, in: Yale Economic Essays, pages 225-272 Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  95. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
  96. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  97. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  98. Riding, Allan L. & HainesJR., George, 2001. "Loan guarantees: Costs of default and benefits to small firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 595-612, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:21:y:2010:i:3:p:206-218. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.