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The macroeconomics of firms' savings

  • Roc Armenter
  • Viktoria Hnatkovska

The authors document that the U.S. non-financial corporate sector became a net lender in the 2000s, using aggregate and firm-level data. They develop a structural model with investment, debt, and equity. Debt is fiscally advantageous but subject to a no-default borrowing constraint. Equity allows the firm to suspend dividends when the cash flow is negative. Firms accumulate financial assets for precautionary reasons, yet value equity as partial insurance against shocks. The calibrated model replicates the prevalence of net savings in the period 2000-2007 and attributes the rise in corporate savings over the past 40 years to lower dividend taxes.

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File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/2012/wp12-1.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 12-1.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:12-1
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  1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Thesmar & Mathias Thoenig, 2011. "Contrasting Trends in Firm Volatility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 143-80, October.
  3. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1984. " Optimal Financial Policy and Firm Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 593-607, July.
  4. Bates, Thomas W. & Kahle, Kathleen M. & Stulz, Rene M., 2007. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash Than They Used To?," Working Paper Series 2006-17, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  5. Andrea Gamba & Alexander J. Triantis, 2007. "The Value of Financial Flexibility," Working Papers wpn07-02, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  6. Jianjun Miao & Francois Gourio, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Long-Run Effects of Dividend Tax Reform," 2007 Meeting Papers 147, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Christopher Hennessy & Toni Whited, 2004. "Debt Dynamics," 2004 Meeting Papers 592, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  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. Ivo Welch, 2002. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm263, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2003.
  10. Leigh A. Riddick & Toni M. Whited, 2009. "The Corporate Propensity to Save," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1729-1766, 08.
  11. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan & Servaes, Henri, 2002. "Corporate Liquidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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