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Motives for corporate cash holdings: the CEO optimism effect

Author

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  • Winifred Huang-Meier

    () (Aston University)

  • Neophytos Lambertides

    () (Cyprus University of Technology)

  • James M. Steeley

    () (Aston University)

Abstract

We examine the chief executive officer (CEO) optimism effect on managerial motives for cash holdings and find that optimistic and non-optimistic managers have significantly dissimilar purposes for holding more cash. This is consistent with both theory and evidence that optimistic managers are reluctant to use external funds. Optimistic managers hoard cash for growth opportunities, use relatively more cash for capital expenditure and acquisitions, and save more cash in adverse conditions. By contrast, they hold fewer inventories and receivables and their precautionary demand for cash holdings is less than that of non-optimistic managers. In addition, we consider debt conservatism in our model and find no evidence that optimistic managers’ cash hoarding is related to their preference to use debt conservatively. We also document that optimistic managers hold more cash in bad times than non-optimistic managers do. Our work highlights the crucial role that CEO characteristics play in shaping corporate cash holding policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Winifred Huang-Meier & Neophytos Lambertides & James M. Steeley, 2016. "Motives for corporate cash holdings: the CEO optimism effect," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 699-732, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:rqfnac:v:47:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11156-015-0517-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11156-015-0517-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Yasser Alhenawi & Martha Stilwell, 2017. "Value creation and the probability of success in merger and acquisition transactions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1041-1085, November.
    2. Houdou Basse Mama & Stefan Mueller & Ulrich Pape, 2017. "What’s in the news? The ambiguity of the information content of index reconstitutions in Germany," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1087-1119, November.
    3. Michael Kinney & Harrison Liu, 2018. "Corporate responses to the repatriation incentives and domestic production activities deduction," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 623-651, February.
    4. Ivan E. Brick & Rose C. Liao, 2017. "The joint determinants of cash holdings and debt maturity: the case for financial constraints," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 597-641, April.
    5. Andrew Vivian & Bin Xu, 2018. "Time-varying managerial overconfidence and pecking order preference," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 799-835, April.
    6. Jose Miranda-Lopez & Svetlana Orlova & Li Sun, 2019. "CEO network centrality and corporate cash holdings," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 967-1003, November.
    7. Huiqi Gan, 2019. "Does CEO managerial ability matter? Evidence from corporate investment efficiency," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 1085-1118, May.
    8. Ma-Ju Wang & Xuan-Qi Su & Hong-Da Wang & Yan-Shing Chen, 2017. "Directors’ education and corporate liquidity: evidence from boards in Taiwan," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 463-485, August.
    9. Hsuan-Chu Lin & She-Chih Chiu, 2017. "Tradeoff on corporate cash holdings: a theoretical and empirical analysis," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 727-763, October.
    10. Ali Ataullah & Andrew Vivian & Bin Xu, 2018. "Optimistic Disclosure Tone and Conservative Debt Policy," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 54(4), pages 445-484, December.
    11. Audrey Wenhsin Hsu & Sophia Hsintsai Liu, 2018. "Parent-subsidiary investment layers and the value of corporate cash holdings," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 651-681, October.
    12. Mei-Chen Lin & Po-Hsin Ho & Hsiang-Lin Chih, 2019. "Effects of managerial overconfidence on analyst recommendations," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 73-99, July.
    13. Sanaz Aghazadeh & Lili Sun & Qian Wang & Rong Yang, 2018. "Investors’ perception of CEO overconfidence: evidence from the cost of equity capital," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 51(4), pages 1129-1150, November.
    14. Joel Kiplagat Tuwey & Vincent Ngeno, 2019. "Does CEO Traits Influence Innovation? Evidence from the Kenya Banking Sector," Journal of Accounting, Business and Finance Research, Scientific Publishing Institute, vol. 7(2), pages 98-106.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cash holdings; Liquidity; Cash holdings motive; CEO optimism;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles

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