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Corporate Liquidity

  • Dittmar, Amy
  • Mahrt-Smith, Jan
  • Servaes, Henri

Agency problems are an important determinant of corporate liquidity. For a sample of more than 11,000 firms from 45 countries, we find that corporations in countries where shareholders rights are not well protected hold up to twice as much cash as corporations in countries with good shareholder protection. In addition, when shareholder protection is poor, factors that generally drive the need for liquidity, such as investment opportunities and asymmetric information, actually become less important. These results strengthen after controlling for capital market development. In fact, consistent with the importance of agency costs, we find that managers actually hold larger cash balances when capital markets are better developed. Our evidence indicates that investors in countries with poor shareholder protection cannot force managers to disgorge excessive cash balances.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3499.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3499
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  1. 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.
  2. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
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  4. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  8. Tim Opler & Lee Pinkowitz & Rene Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 1997. "The Determinants and Implications of Corporate Cash Holdings," NBER Working Papers 6234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 2000. "Financial intermediation and growth: Causality and causes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 31-77, August.
  10. Olivier J. Blanchard & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1993. "What do Firms do with Cash Windfalls?," NBER Working Papers 4258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lang, Larry H. P. & Stulz, ReneM. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1991. "A test of the free cash flow hypothesis*1: The case of bidder returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 315-335, October.
  12. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  14. Kim, Chang-Soo & Mauer, David C. & Sherman, Ann E., 1998. "The Determinants of Corporate Liquidity: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(03), pages 335-359, September.
  15. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125519 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "Scale Economies, the Value of Time, and the Demand for Money: Longitudinal Evidence from Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1061-79, October.
  17. Pinkowitz, Lee & Williamson, Rohan, 2001. "Bank Power and Cash Holdings: Evidence from Japan," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 1059-82.
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