Relationship Banking, Liquidity, and Investment in the German Industrialization
Close bank relationships are thought to ameliorate firms' liquidity constraints-a phenomenon frequently measured by liquidity sensitivity of investment. Using German firms during the formative years of universal banking (1903-1913), this paper shows that, even controlling for selection bias, investment is more sensitive to internal liquidity for bank-networked firms than unattached firms. The firm exhibiting the greatest liquidity sensitivity, however, faced no apparent liquidity constraint. The findings yield two implications: they support recent research rejecting a linear relationship between liquidity sensitivity and financing constraints, and they suggest that relationship banking provides no consistent lessening of firms' liquidity sensitivity. Copyright The American Finance Association 1998.
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