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INVESTMENT, CASH FLOW AND MANAGERIAL DISCRETION IN STATE-OWNED FIRMS-Evidence across soft and hard budget constraints

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Abstract

In this paper we extend to state-owned enterprises the empirical work on investment-cash flow sensitivities. Our sample is a panel of Italian state-owned manufacturing firms over the period 1977-1993. The distinctive element of public firms’ financial environment is the budget regime under which they operate. Our analysis of Italian institutions identifies a switch from a soft to a hard budget constraint regime in 1987, for which a critical determinant was Italy’s attempt to qualify for EMU. We estimate a number of models of investment with additional cash flow terms and test for parameter constancy across budget regimes and the business cycle. We find that there is a positive correlation between investment and cash flow also for public firms, but only when the budget regime is soft. We argue that excessive managerial discretion is likely to be responsible for this correlation. We also find that the switch to a hard regime brings about an important change in the investment decisions of this panel of public enterprises.

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  • Elisabetta Bertero & Laura Rondi, 2000. "INVESTMENT, CASH FLOW AND MANAGERIAL DISCRETION IN STATE-OWNED FIRMS-Evidence across soft and hard budget constraints," CERIS Working Paper 200010, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:200010
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    1. Bertero, Elisabetta & Rondi, Laura, 2000. "Financial pressure and the behaviour of public enterprises under soft and hard budget constraints: evidence from Italian panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 73-98, January.
    2. Alessandro Sembenelli & Diego Margon & Davide Vannoni, 1995. "Panel Ceris Su Dati Di Impresa: Aspetti Metodologici E Istruzioni Per L’Uso," CERIS Working Paper 199507, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
    3. Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Internal Organization of Government," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
    4. Jacques Mairesse & Bronwyn H. Hall & Benoît Mulkay, 1999. "Firm-Level Investment in France and the United States: An Exploration of What We Have Learned in Twenty Years," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 55-56, pages 27-67.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Stephen Bond & Julie Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Benoit Mulkay, 1997. "Financial factors and investment in Belgium, France, German and the UK: A comparison using company panel data," IFS Working Papers W97/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities are Useful: A Comment on Kaplan and Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705.
    9. Rondi, Laura & Sembenelli, Alessandro & Zanetti, Giovanni, 1994. "Is excess sensitivity of investment to financial factors constant across firms? Evidence from panel data on Italian companies," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 365-383, July.
    10. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
    11. repec:adr:anecst:y:1999:i:55-56:p:02 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Harrison, Ann E. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2003. "Does direct foreign investment affect domestic credit constraints?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-100, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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