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Inventory investment and cash flow

  • Ian Small
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    This paper uses a panel of UK manufacturing firms to examine whether the effect of cash flow on inventory investment reflects the presence of financially constrained firms. Financially constrained firms are identified using a number of criteria, including the criterion suggested by Bond and Meghir (1994) based on the firm's financial policy. The main finding is that the effect of cash flow on inventory investment is concentrated among firms identified as financially constrained using either their financial policy or a criterion based on their current ratio. This suggests that there is no unique criterion for identifying financially constrained firms using financial information in company accounts. Contrary to what previous studies have found, using firm size or the coverage ratio to define financially constrained firms does not reduce the effect of cash flow on the inventory investment of unconstrained firms. This raises doubts about whether these are accurate indicators of whether a firm is financially constrained. Combined with Bond and Meghir's similar findings for fixed investment, the results in this paper suggest that cash flow effects form part of the monetary transmission mechanism.

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    File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/workingpapers/2000/wp112.pdf
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    Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 112.

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    Date of creation: May 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:112
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    2. Martin Feldstein & Alan Auerbach, 1976. "Inventory Behavior in Durable-Goods Manufacturing: The Target-Adjustment Model," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 351-408.
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    4. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    5. Alan S. Blinder, 1984. "Can The Production Smoothing Model of Inventory Behavior be Saved?," NBER Working Papers 1257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Blinder, Alan S & Maccini, Louis J, 1991. " The Resurgence of Inventory Research: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 291-328.
    7. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1995. "Is bank lending important for the transmission of monetary policy: an overview," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 39, pages 1-14.
    8. Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1992. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers 92-08, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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    17. Kashyap, Anil K & Lamont, Owen A & Stein, Jeremy C, 1994. "Credit Conditions and the Cyclical Behavior of Inventories," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 565-92, August.
    18. 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.
    19. Michael Devereux & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1989. "Investment, Finacial Factors and Cash Flow: Evidence From UK Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 3116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    24. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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