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Do Firms in Countries with Poor Protection of Investor Rights Hold More Cash?

Author

Listed:
  • Lee Pinkowitz
  • Rene M. Stulz
  • Rohan Williamson

Abstract

Managers make different decisions in countries with poor protection of investor rights and poor financial development. One possible explanation is that shareholder-wealth maximizing managers face different tradeoffs in such countries (the tradeoff theory). Alternatively, firms in such countries are less likely to be managed for the benefit of shareholders because the poor protection of investor rights makes it easier for management and controlling shareholders to appropriate corporate resources for their own benefit (the agency costs theory). Holdings of liquid assets by firms across countries are consistent with Keynes' transaction and precautionary demand for money theories. Firms in countries with greater GDP per capita hold more cash as predicted. Controlling for economic development, firms in countries with more risk and with poor protection of investor rights hold more cash. The tradeoff theory and the agency costs theory can both explain holdings of liquid assets across countries. However, the fact that a dollar of cash is worth less than $0.65 to the minority shareholders of firms in such countries but worth approximately $1 in countries with good protection of investor rights and high financial development is only consistent with the agency costs theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee Pinkowitz & Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2003. "Do Firms in Countries with Poor Protection of Investor Rights Hold More Cash?," NBER Working Papers 10188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10188
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramírez, Andrés & Tadesse, Solomon, 2009. "Corporate cash holdings, uncertainty avoidance, and the multinationality of firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 387-403, August.
    2. Feng, Xunan & Johansson, Anders C., 2014. "Escaping political extraction: Political participation, institutions, and cash holdings in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 98-112.
    3. Thomas W. Bates & Kathleen M. Kahle & René M. Stulz, 2009. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash than They Used To?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 1985-2021, October.
    4. Guney, Yilmaz & Ozkan, Aydin & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2007. "International evidence on the non-linear impact of leverage on corporate cash holdings," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 45-60, February.
    5. Brockman, Paul & Unlu, Emre, 2009. "Dividend policy, creditor rights, and the agency costs of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 276-299, May.
    6. Rui Albuquerue & Neng Wang, 2008. "Agency Conflicts, Investment, and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 1-40, February.
    7. Schauten, M.B.J. & van Dijk, D.J.C. & van der Waal, J-P., 2008. "Corporate Governance and the Value of Excess Cash Holdings of Large European Firms," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-027-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    8. repec:eee:ememar:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:189-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Griffin, John M. & Nardari, Federico & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Stock Market Trading and Market Conditions," Working Paper Series 2004-13, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    10. Vélez-Pareja, Ignacio & Magni, Carlo Alberto, 2008. "Potential dividends and actual cash flows. Theoretical and empirical reasons for using ‘actual’ and dismissing ‘potential’, Or: How not to pull potential rabbits out of actual hats," MPRA Paper 7266, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Hall, Thomas & Mateus, Cesario & Mateus, Irina Bezhentseva, 2014. "What determines cash holdings at privately held and publicly traded firms? Evidence from 20 emerging markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 104-116.
    12. Breuer, Wolfgang & Rieger, M. Oliver & Soypak, K. Can, 2014. "The behavioral foundations of corporate dividend policy a cross-country analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 247-265.
    13. Lozano, Maria Belen, 2015. "Decisões estratégicas de empresas familiares sobre acúmulo de dinheiro," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 55(4), July.
    14. Kuan, Tsung-Han & Li, Chu-Shiu & Liu, Chwen-Chi, 2012. "Corporate governance and cash holdings: A quantile regression approach," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 303-314.
    15. Hai-Chin Yu & Ben Sopranzetti & Cheng-Few Lee, 2015. "The impact of banking relationships, managerial incentives, and board monitoring on corporate cash holdings: an emerging market perspective," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 353-378, February.
    16. Nicolas Couderc, 2006. "La détention d'actifs liquides par les entreprises. Quelles explications ?," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 485-495.
    17. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Liyan Han & Boyan Liu, 2012. "The effects of uncertainty and corporate governance on firms’ demand for liquidity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 515-525, February.
    18. 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.
    19. Fernando Antonio Lucena Aiube & Edison Americo Huarsaya Tito, 2009. "Evaluating cash benefits as real options for a commodity producer in an emerging market," Brazilian Review of Finance, Brazilian Society of Finance, vol. 7(3), pages 361-375.
    20. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Lai, Ching-Chong & Liao, Chih-Hsing, 2015. "Inflation, R&D and growth in an open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 360-374.
    21. Kuan, Tsung-Han & Li, Chu-Shiu & Chu, Shin-Herng, 2011. "Cash holdings and corporate governance in family-controlled firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 757-764, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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