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Management Views on Corporate Cash Holdings


  • Gary E. Powell

    () (McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte)

  • H. Kent Baker

    () (Kogod School of Business, American University)


We survey the CFOs of 1,000 large U.S. companies to learn their views about corporate cash holdings. Specifically, we investigate managerial views about the determinants of cash holdings and whether they believe that corporate governance affects a firm’s level of cash holdings, spending of cash, and value of cash holdings. We find their views provide support for an optimal tradeoff approach to cash holdings, limited support for a financing hierarchy explanation, mixed support for arguments that financial constraints affect a firm’s cash holdings, and generally no support for most agency cost explanations. The survey results show that managers believe the effectiveness of a firm’s corporate governance structures may affect its cash holdings and spending of cash but not the value of its cash holdings.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary E. Powell & H. Kent Baker, 2010. "Management Views on Corporate Cash Holdings," Discussion Paper Series 2010-01, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte.
  • Handle: RePEc:msb:wpaper:2010-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-1366, September.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    3. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan & Servaes, Henri, 2003. "International Corporate Governance and Corporate Cash Holdings," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 111-133, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Ozkan, Aydin & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2004. "Corporate cash holdings: An empirical investigation of UK companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2103-2134, September.
    6. Whited, Toni M, 1992. " Debt, Liquidity Constraints, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1425-1460, September.
    7. Arslan, Ozgur & Florackis, Chrisostomos & Ozkan, Aydin, 2006. "The role of cash holdings in reducing investment-cash flow sensitivity: Evidence from a financial crisis period in an emerging market," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 320-338, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Orens, Raf & Reheul, Anne-Mie, 2013. "Do CEO demographics explain cash holdings in SMEs?," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 549-563.

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    Cash Holdings; Corporate Governance;

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