IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bca/bocawp/18-59.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Corporate Saving over the Business Cycle: Shock Absorber or Amplifier?

Author

Listed:
  • Xiaodan Gao
  • Shaofeng Xu

Abstract

We document countercyclical corporate saving behavior with the degree of countercyclicality varying nonmonotonically with firm size. We then develop a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous firms to explain the pattern and study its implications for business cycles. In the presence of financial frictions and fixed operating costs, a persistent negative productivity shock signals low future income and prompts firms to hold more cash in order to preserve financial flexibility and maintain normal operations. This countercyclicality exhibits a hump-shaped relation to firm size. Compared with mediumsized firms, small firms have a higher marginal product of capital and thus better investment opportunities, which compete for resources with cash, while large firms have more pledgeable assets and demand less cash. We find that, on average, firms accumulate cash by cutting investment and employment in recessions, which reduces aggregate output and increases economic fluctuations. Corporate saving, therefore, amplifies aggregate shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaodan Gao & Shaofeng Xu, 2018. "The Role of Corporate Saving over the Business Cycle: Shock Absorber or Amplifier?," Staff Working Papers 18-59, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:18-59
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/swp2018-59.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2013. "Credit Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations in an Economy with Production Heterogeneity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1055-1107.
    2. Halling, Michael & Yu, Jin & Zechner, Josef, 2016. "Leverage dynamics over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 21-41.
    3. Lane, Philip R. & Tornell, Aaron, 1998. "Why aren't savings rates in Latin America procyclical?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 185-199, October.
    4. Christopher A. Hennessy & Toni M. Whited, 2007. "How Costly Is External Financing? Evidence from a Structural Estimation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1705-1745, August.
    5. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    6. Thomas W. Bates & Kathleen M. Kahle & René M. Stulz, 2009. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash than They Used To?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 1985-2021, October.
    7. Leigh A. Riddick & Toni M. Whited, 2009. "The Corporate Propensity to Save," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1729-1766, August.
    8. Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2010. "Uncertainty, Financial Frictions, and Investment Dynamics," 2010 Meeting Papers 1285, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-593.
    10. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2019. "Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(5), pages 2049-2103.
    11. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2001. "Financial Markets and Firm Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1286-1310, December.
    12. Julia K. Thomas & Aubhik Khan, 2011. "Default Risk and Aggregate Fluctuations in an Economy with Production Heterogeneity," 2011 Meeting Papers 1333, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2008. "Idiosyncratic Shocks and the Role of Nonconvexities in Plant and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 395-436, March.
    14. Tian, Can, 2018. "Firm-level entry and exit dynamics over the business cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 298-326.
    15. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    16. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    17. Francisco Covas & Wouter J. Den Haan, 2011. "The Cyclical Behavior of Debt and Equity Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 877-899, April.
    18. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
    19. Korajczyk, Robert A. & Levy, Amnon, 2003. "Capital structure choice: macroeconomic conditions and financial constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 75-109, April.
    20. Adema, Yvonne & Pozzi, Lorenzo, 2015. "Business cycle fluctuations and household saving in OECD countries: A panel data analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 214-233.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Adão, Bernardino & Silva, André C., 2020. "The effect of firm cash holdings on monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    2. Ouyang, Min & Zhang, Shengxing, 2020. "Corruption as Collateral," MPRA Paper 98635, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Xiao, J., 2016. "Corporate Debt Structure, Precautionary Savings, and Investment Dynamics," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1666, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Safronov, M., 2016. "Experimentation and Learning-by-Doing," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1667, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Armenter, Roc & Hnatkovska, Viktoria, 2017. "Taxes and capital structure: Understanding firms’ savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 13-33.
    4. Macnamara, Patrick, 2019. "Taxes and financial frictions: Implications for corporate capital structure," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 82-100.
    5. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Tyler Muir, 2014. "Aggregate External Financing and Savings Waves," NBER Working Papers 20442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Muir, Tyler, 2016. "Aggregate external financing and savings waves," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 116-133.
    7. Di Nola, Alessandro, 2015. "Capital Misallocation during the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 68289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Stijn Claessens & M Ayhan Kose, 2018. "Frontiers of macrofinancial linkages," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 95, December.
    9. Strebulaev, Ilya A. & Whited, Toni M., 2012. "Dynamic Models and Structural Estimation in Corporate Finance," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 6(1–2), pages 1-163, November.
    10. Xing Guo, 2020. "Identifying Aggregate Shocks with Micro-level Heterogeneity: Financial Shocks and Investment Fluctuation," Staff Working Papers 20-17, Bank of Canada.
    11. Julia K. Thomas & Aubhik Khan, 2011. "Default Risk and Aggregate Fluctuations in an Economy with Production Heterogeneity," 2011 Meeting Papers 1333, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Bazdresch, Santiago, 2013. "The role of non-convex costs in firms' investment and financial dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 929-950.
    13. Nicholas Bloom & Fatih Guvenen & Sergio Salgado, 2016. "Skewed Business Cycles," 2016 Meeting Papers 1621, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. James Cloyne & Clodomiro Ferreira & Maren Froemel & Paolo Surico, 2018. "Monetary Policy, Corporate Finance and Investment," NBER Working Papers 25366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Lin, Xiaoji & Wang, Chong & Wang, Neng & Yang, Jinqiang, 2018. "Investment, Tobin’s q, and interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(3), pages 620-640.
    16. Dalida Kadyrzhanova & Antonio Falato & Jae Sim, 2012. "Intangible Capital and Corporate Cash Holdings: Theory and Evidence," 2012 Meeting Papers 968, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. jae sim & Dalida Kadyrzhanova & Antonio Falato, 2013. "Rising Intangible Capital, Shrinking Debt Capacity, and the US Corporate Savings Glut," 2013 Meeting Papers 1151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2019. "Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(5), pages 2049-2103.
    19. Stephen J. Terry, 2017. "Alternative Methods for Solving Heterogeneous Firm Models," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(6), pages 1081-1111, September.
    20. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta†Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2018. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(3), pages 1031-1065, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business fluctuations and cycles; Economic models;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:bca:bocawp:18-59. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bocgvca.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bocgvca.html .

    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.