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Financial constraints and company investment

Author

Listed:
  • Steve Bond

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Costas Meghir

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

Abstract

The question we address in this paper is whether the investment spending of at least some firms is affected by the availability of internally generated finance (retained earnings), reflecting some constraint on the ability of these firms to raise external finance (debt or new equity) for investment. The opposing view is that the cost at which investment funds can be obtained, taken to be independent of the amount invested, is the only financial consideration that matters in the determination of investment. This is an old question in economics, which has been the subject of several official inquiries as well as a large body of academic research. The answer to this question has a number of important implications. Profits are highly cyclical, so if investment depends directly on the availability of profits then investment spending will be more sensitive to fluctuations in economic activity than would otherwise be the case. This could be an important factor in the propagation of business cycles. If post-tax profits help to determine investment spending then the impact of company taxes on investment will be more complicated than is often assumed. In particular, the average tax rate will influence the level of investment spending, in addition to the impact of taxes on the cost of capital, and any increase in the total revenue raised from corporation tax could have a directly adverse impact on business investment. There may also be an incentive for firms with available internal funds to take over firms whose investment spending is constrained, resulting in take-over activity that would otherwise be inefficient. To the extent that financial constraints on investment spending are attributable to imperfections in capital markets or to market failures, there may also be some motivation for policy measures designed to reduce these impacts, if financial constraints are found to be pervasive.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve Bond & Costas Meghir, 1994. "Financial constraints and company investment," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 1-18, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:15:y:1994:i:2:p:1-18
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    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/fs/articles/bond_may94.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Coad, Alex, 2010. "Neoclassical vs evolutionary theories of financial constraints: Critique and prospectus," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 206-218, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Natalia Salazar Ferro & Pilar Cabrera & Alejandro Becerra, 2011. "El impacto del leasing financiero sobre la inversión y el empleo en las firmas colombianas," CUADERNOS DE FEDESARROLLO 009270, FEDESARROLLO.
    4. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:58:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ahmed, S., 2004. "Modelling corporate tax liabilities using company accounts: a new framework," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0412, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Carboni, Oliviero A., 2017. "The effect of public support on investment and R&D: An empirical evaluation on European manufacturing firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 282-295.
    7. Driffield, Nigel & Pal, Sarmistha, 2006. "Do external funds yield lower returns?: Recent evidence from East Asian economies," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 171-188, February.
    8. repec:rss:jnljef:v4i2p4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Magda Bianco & Maria Bontempi & Roberto Golinelli & Giuseppe Parigi, 2013. "Family firms’ investments, uncertainty and opacity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1035-1058, May.
    10. Marie Diron & Maria Cruz Manzano & Thomas Westermann, 2005. "Forecasting aggregate investment in the euro area: do indicators of financial conditions help?," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Investigating the relationship between the financial and real economy, volume 22, pages 206-27 Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Dhaoui, Elwardi, 2013. "How to strengthen the financial autonomy to boost investment in the company?," MPRA Paper 63842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C, 2001. "TFP Growth in British and German Manufacturing, 1950-96," CEPR Discussion Papers 3078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. John Pointon & Suzanne Farrar & Jon Tucker, 1996. "European taxation and capital investment," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 57-76.
    14. Alfred Haid, 2001. "Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Corporate Governance in Europe: Einführung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(2), pages 193-200.
    15. Jože Damijan & Črt Kostevc & Sašo Polanec, 2015. "Access to finance, exporting and a non-monotonic firm expansion," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 131-155, February.
    16. Atzeni, Gianfranco E. & Carboni, Oliviero A., 2008. "The effects of grant policy on technology investment in Italy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 381-399.
    17. Joze P. Damijan & Crt Kostevc, 2011. "Firms’ Patterns of Trade and Access to Finance," Chapters,in: Post-Crisis Growth and Integration in Europe, chapter 19 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Short, Helen & Zhang, Hao & Keasey, Kevin, 2002. "The link between dividend policy and institutional ownership," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 105-122, March.
    19. Valderrama, Maria Teresa, 2001. "Credit channel and investment behaviour in Austria: a micro-econometric approach," Working Paper Series 0108, European Central Bank.
    20. Pedro Elosegui & Paula Español & Demian Panigo & Emilio Blanco, 2007. "The Asymmetrical Impact of Restrictions to Financing in Argentina. Comparison by Sector, Size and Origin of Ownership (1995-2003)," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(48), pages 73-107, July - Se.
    21. Lee, Kang-Kook & Islam, Md. Rabiul, 2011. "Financial Development and Financing Constraints in a Developing Country: The Case of Bangladesh," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 46(1), pages 41-67.
    22. Gianni La Cava, 2005. "Financial Constraints, the User Cost of Capital and Corporate Investment in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2005-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.

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