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The Effects of Industry-Level Uncertainty on Cash Holdings: The Case of Germany

  • Christopher F. Baum


    (Boston College
    DIW Berlin)

  • Dorothea Schäfer


    (DIW Berlin)

  • Oleksandr Talavera


    (DIW Berlin)

This paper investigates the link between the optimal level of non-financial firms' liquid assets and industry-level uncertainty. We develop a structural model of a firm's value maximization problem that predicts that as industry-level uncertainty increases the firm will increase its optimal level of liquidity. We test this hypothesis using a panel of German firms drawn from the Bundesbank's balance sheet database and show that greater uncertainty at the industry level causes firms to increase their cash holdings. The strength of these effects differ among subsamples of the firms with different characteristics.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 637.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 13 Feb 2006
Date of revision: 05 Aug 2006
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:637
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  1. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Neslihan Ozkan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2002. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Uncertainty on Non-Financial Firms' Demand for Liquidity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 552, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Dec 2005.
  2. Hartman, Richard, 1976. "Factor Demand with Output Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 675-81, September.
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  6. Ciaran Driver & Paul Temple & Giovanni Urga, 2005. "Profitability, capacity, and uncertainty: a model of UK manufacturing investment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 120-141, January.
  7. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1998. "Investment, Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Working Papers 6652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. n/a, 1999. "An Artificial Neural Network System of Leading Indicators," NIESR Discussion Papers 198, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  9. Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 2000. "The Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Investment in Small and Large Businesses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 338-343, May.
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  11. 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.).
  12. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1777-1804, 08.
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  16. Joseph P. Byrne & E. Philip Davis, 2005. "Investment and Uncertainty in the G7," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 1-32, April.
  17. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan & Servaes, Henri, 2003. "International Corporate Governance and Corporate Cash Holdings," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 111-133, March.
  18. Hong Bo & Robert Lensin, 2005. "Is the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship Nonlinear? An Empirical Analysis for the Netherlands," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(286), pages 307-331, 05.
  19. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  20. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  21. Ozkan, Aydin & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2004. "Corporate cash holdings: An empirical investigation of UK companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2103-2134, September.
  22. Alfonsina Iona & Leone Leonida & Aydin Ozkan, . "Determinants of Financial Conservatism: Evidence from Low-Leverage and Cash-Rich UK Firms," Discussion Papers 04/01, Department of Economics, University of York.
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