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Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment

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  • Heitor Almeida
  • Murillo Campello

Abstract

When firms are able to pledge their assets as collateral, investment and borrowing become endogenous: pledgeable assets support more borrowings that in turn allow for further investment in pledgeable assets. We show that this credit multiplier has an important impact on investment when firms face credit constraints: investment-cash flow sensitivities are increasing in the degree of tangibility of constrained firms' assets. If firms are unconstrained, however, investment-cash flow sensitivities are unaffected by asset tangibility. Crucially, asset tangibility itself may determine whether a firm faces credit constraints - firms with more tangible assets may have greater access to external funds. This implies that the relationship between capital spending and cash flows is non-monotonic in the firm's asset tangibility. Our theory allows us to use a differences-in-differences approach to identify the effect of financing frictions on corporate investment: we compare the differential effect of asset tangibility on the sensitivity of investment to cash flow across different regimes of financial constraints. We implement this testing strategy on a large sample of manufacturing firms drawn from COMPUSTAT between 1985 and 2000. Our tests allow for the endogeneity of the firm's credit status, with asset tangibility influencing whether a firm is classified as credit constrained or unconstrained in a switching regression framework. The data strongly support our hypothesis about the role of asset tangibility on corporate investment under financial constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2006. "Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 12087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12087
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Savina Princen, 2012. "Taxes do Affect Corporate Financing Decisions: The Case of Belgian ACE," CESifo Working Paper Series 3713, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Jürgen Antony & Torben Klarl & Alfred Maußner, 2012. "Firm heterogeneity, credit constraints, and endogenous growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 105(3), pages 199-224, April.
    3. Boutin, Xavier & Cestone, Giacinta & Fumagalli, Chiara & Pica, Giovanni & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas, 2013. "The deep-pocket effect of internal capital markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 122-145.
    4. Martinsson, Gustav, 2008. "Firm Collateral and the Cyclicality of Knowledge Intensity," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 134, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    5. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2013. "The Effects of Future Capital Investment and R&D Expenditures on Firms' Liquidity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 459-474, August.
    6. Fossen, Frank & Simmler, Martin, 2012. "Differential taxation and firms' financial leverage: Evidence from the introduction of a flat tax on interest income," Discussion Papers 2012/4, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    7. Sandra Poncet & Walter Steingress & Hylke Vandenbussche, 2010. "Financial Constraints in China: the conditioning effect of FDI and State-Owned corporate sector," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00633806, HAL.
    8. Poncet, Sandra & Steingress, Walter & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2010. "Financial constraints in China: Firm-level evidence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 411-422, September.
    9. Saeed Abubakr & Franco Esposito, 2012. "Bank concentration and financial constraints on firm investment in UK," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 11-25, March.
    10. Betzer, André & Gider, Jasmin & Metzger, Daniel & Theissen, Erik, 2009. "Strategic trading and trade reporting by corporate insiders," CFR Working Papers 09-15, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    11. Andrea Caggese, 2005. "Financing Imperfections and the Investments Decisions of Privately Owned Firms," Working Papers 265, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    12. Chang, Yuk Ying & Dasgupta, Sudipto, 2007. "Beyond internal capital markets: The in-house transmission of adverse sales shocks and the collateral channel," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 743-770, December.
    13. Wang, Ashley W. & Zhang, Gaiyan, 2009. "Institutional ownership and credit spreads: An information asymmetry perspective," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 597-612, September.
    14. Marialuz Moreno Badia & Veerle Slootmaekers, 2008. "The Missing Link Between Financial Constraints and Productivity," LICOS Discussion Papers 20808, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    15. Guariglia, Alessandra & Mateut, Simona, 2006. "Credit channel, trade credit channel, and inventory investment: Evidence from a panel of UK firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 2835-2856, October.
    16. Ettore Crocia & John A. Doukas & Halit Gonenc, 2010. "Family Control and Financing Decisions," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1004, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    17. Kayo, Eduardo K. & Kimura, Herbert, 2011. "Hierarchical determinants of capital structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 358-371, 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. Rodrigo Troncoso, 2011. "Credit channel and flight to quality in emerging markets: evidence from Chile," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 183-197, August.
    20. Constant Djama & Guillaume Dumas & Isabelle Martinez, 2011. "L'innovation : une incitation à la gestion des résultats ?," Post-Print hal-00650418, HAL.
    21. Hohenstatt, Ralf & Steininger, Bertram, 2011. "The rat race of capital structure research for REITs and REOCs: Two spotlights on leverage," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-077, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    22. Gordon M. Phillips & Giorgo Sertsios, 2011. "How Do Firm Financial Conditions Affect Product Quality and Pricing?," NBER Working Papers 17233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Dietrich, Diemo, 2006. "Asset Tangibility and Capital Allocation within Multinational Corporations," IWH Discussion Papers 4/2006, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    24. Dongmei Li & Lu Zhang, 2008. "Costly External Finance: Implications for Capital Markets Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 14342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Yasmeen Akhtar & Attiya Yasmin Javid & Tariq Abbasi, 2014. "What Determines Payment Methods and Deal Amount in Corporate Merger and Acquisitions in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2014:97, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.

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    JEL classification:

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

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