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Corporate investment and cash flow sensitivity: what drives the relationship?

  • Mizen, Paul
  • Vermeulen, Philip

The excess sensitivity of investment to cash flow has been demonstrated in numerous studies. Recent research has identified differences in the degree of sensitivity across countries, which it ascribes to the nature of the lender-borrower relationship in the financial systems of those countries. In this paper we offer new methods and results to determine whether differences are associated with structural explanations such as the nature of the financial system and industrial composition, or due to other firm-specific determinants such as size or creditworthiness. Unlike previous research we are able to systematically control for competing explanations in our data from more than one country and thereby isolate what drives the relationship. We find that creditworthiness is the main driving force of cash flow sensitivity. JEL Classification: E22, D92

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0485.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050485
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  2. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
  3. Stephen Bond, 2000. "Noisy Share Prices and the Q Model of Investment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1320, Econometric Society.
  4. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999. "Aggregate investment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862 Elsevier.
  5. Marvin J. Barth III & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "The Cost Channel of Monetary Transmission," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 199-256 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Bean, Charles R, 1981. "An Econometric Model of Manufacturing Investment in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 106-21, March.
  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
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