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The Impact of Financial Structure on Firms' Financial Constraints: A Cross-Country Analysis

  • Christopher F. Baum
  • Dorothea Schäfer
  • Oleksandr Talavera

We estimate firms' cash flow sensitivity of cash to empirically test how the financial system's structure and activity level influence their financial constraints. For this purpose we merge Almeida, Campello and Weisbach (2004), a pathbreaking new design for evaluating a firm's financial constraints, with Levine (2002), who paved the way for comparative analysis of financial systems around the world. We conjecture that a country's financial system, both in terms of its structure and its level of development, should influence the cash flow sensitivity of cash of constrained firms but leave unconstrained firms unaffected. We test our hypothesis with a large international sample of 80,000 firm-years from 1989 to 2006. Our findings reveal that both the structure of the financial system and its level of development matter. Bank-based financial systems provide constrained firms with easier access to external financing.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.95870.de/dp863.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 863.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp863
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  1. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2002. "Funding growth in bank-based and market-based financial systems: evidence from firm-level data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 337-363, September.
  2. Chakraborty, Shankha & Ray, Tridip, 2006. "Bank-based versus market-based financial systems: A growth-theoretic analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 329-350, March.
  3. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities are not Valid Measures of Financing Constraints," NBER Working Papers 7659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  5. Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which is Better?," NBER Working Papers 9138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1989. "Corporate structure, liquidity, and investment: evidence from Japanese industrial groups," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 82, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  8. Opler, Tim & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, Rene & Williamson, Rohan, 1999. "The determinants and implications of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-46, April.
  9. Acharya, Viral V. & Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo, 2007. "Is cash negative debt? A hedging perspective on corporate financial policies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 515-554, October.
  10. Love, Inessa, 2001. "Financial development and financing constraints - international evidence from the structural investment model," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2694, The World Bank.
  11. Cummins, Jason & Hassett, Kevin & Oliner, Stephen, 1997. "Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations and Internal Funds," Working Papers 97-30, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. Khurana, Inder K. & Martin, Xiumin & Pereira, Raynolde, 2006. "Financial Development and the Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(04), pages 787-808, December.
  13. 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, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  16. Jarrad Harford, 1999. "Corporate Cash Reserves and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1969-1997, December.
  17. Sean Cleary, 1999. "The Relationship between Firm Investment and Financial Status," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 673-692, 04.
  18. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  19. Nathalie Moyen, 2004. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities: Constrained versus Unconstrained Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2061-2092, October.
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