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The More-Money and Less-Cash Effects of Diversification: Evidence from Japanese firms

Listed author(s):
  • USHIJIMA Tatsuo

Firms that operate in multiple industries can use cash flow generated by a business to fulfill the debt obligations and investment needs of other businesses. Because of such coinsurance effect, industrial diversification may increase firms' optimal leverage and also enable them to hold less liquidity for precautionary motives. I examine this possibility based on a sample of public Japanese firms. Regressions show that after controlling for various determinants of capital structure, diversified firms are significantly more leveraged, while holding less cash, than representative focused firms in the same industries. Moreover, these effects are stronger for more diversified firms and robust to control for unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity. My results lend support to the view that diversification increases the financial flexibility of firms by enlarging the size and scope of internal capital markets.

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File URL: http://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/16e029.pdf
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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 16029.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2016
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:16029
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  1. Lang, Larry H P & Stulz, Rene M, 1994. "Tobin's q, Corporate Diversification, and Firm Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1248-1280, December.
  2. Murray Z. Frank & Vidhan K. Goyal, 2009. "Capital Structure Decisions: Which Factors Are Reliably Important?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 1-37, 03.
  3. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 35-80, 02.
  4. Lewellen, Wilbur G, 1971. "A Pure Financial Rationale for the Conglomerate Merger," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 521-537, May.
  5. Tong, Zhenxu, 2012. "Coinsurance effect and bank lines of credit," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1592-1603.
  6. Ran Duchin, 2010. "Cash Holdings and Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 955-992, 06.
  7. 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.
  8. Ahn, Seoungpil & Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K., 2006. "Leverage and investment in diversified firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 317-337, February.
  9. Jose Manuel Campa & Simi Kedia, 2002. "Explaining the Diversification Discount," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1731-1762, 08.
  10. 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 1421-1460, December.
  11. Belén Villalonga, 2004. "Does Diversification Cause the "Diversification Discount"?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 33(2), Summer.
  12. Subramaniam, Venkat & Tang, Tony T. & Yue, Heng & Zhou, Xin, 2011. "Firm structure and corporate cash holdings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 759-773, June.
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