IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/16995.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cash Holdings and Credit Risk

Author

Listed:
  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Sergei A. Davydenko
  • Ilya A. Strebulaev

Abstract

Intuition suggests that firms with higher cash holdings are safer and should have lower credit spreads. Yet empirically, the correlation between cash and spreads is robustly positive and higher for lower credit ratings. This puzzling finding can be explained by the precautionary motive for saving cash. In our model endogenously determined optimal cash reserves are positively related to credit risk, resulting in a positive correlation between cash and spreads. In contrast, spreads are negatively related to the "exogenous'' component of cash holdings that is independent of credit risk factors. Similarly, although firms with higher cash reserves are less likely to default over short horizons, endogenously determined liquidity may be related positively to the longer-term probability of default. Our empirical analysis confirms these predictions, suggesting that precautionary savings are central to understanding the effects of cash on credit risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Sergei A. Davydenko & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2011. "Cash Holdings and Credit Risk," NBER Working Papers 16995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16995
    Note: AP CF
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16995.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Viral Acharya & Jing-zhi Huang & Marti Subrahmanyam & Rangarajan Sundaram, 2006. "When does Strategic Debt-service Matter?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(2), pages 363-378, October.
    2. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2006. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Charalambos D. Aliprantis & Rosa L. Matzkin & Daniel L. McFadden & James C. Moore & Nicholas C. Yann (ed.), Rationality and Equilibrium, pages 217-241, Springer.
    3. Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2000. "Measurement Error and the Relationship between Investment and q," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 1027-1057, October.
    4. Hackbarth, Dirk & Miao, Jianjun & Morellec, Erwan, 2006. "Capital structure, credit risk, and macroeconomic conditions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 519-550, December.
    5. Goldstein, Robert & Ju, Nengjiu & Leland, Hayne, 2001. "An EBIT-Based Model of Dynamic Capital Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(4), pages 483-512, October.
    6. John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2008. "In Search of Distress Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2899-2939, December.
    7. Black, Fischer & Cox, John C, 1976. "Valuing Corporate Securities: Some Effects of Bond Indenture Provisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 351-367, May.
    8. Arturo Bris & Ivo Welch & Ning Zhu, 2006. "The Costs of Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 Liquidation versus Chapter 11 Reorganization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1253-1303, June.
    9. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "The Paradox of Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 733-771.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-40, February.
    11. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1777-1804, August.
    12. Gryglewicz, Sebastian, 2011. "A theory of corporate financial decisions with liquidity and solvency concerns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 365-384, February.
    13. Paul Asquith & Robert Gertner & David Scharfstein, 1994. "Anatomy of Financial Distress: An Examination of Junk-Bond Issuers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 625-658.
    14. Leland, Hayne E, 1994. "Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-1252, September.
    15. Roberts, Michael R. & Whited, Toni M., 2013. "Endogeneity in Empirical Corporate Finance1," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 493-572, Elsevier.
    16. Sergei A. Davydenko & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2007. "Strategic Actions and Credit Spreads: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2633-2671, December.
    17. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, September.
    18. Schaefer, Stephen M. & Strebulaev, Ilya A., 2008. "Structural models of credit risk are useful: Evidence from hedge ratios on corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-19, October.
    19. Andrea Gamba & Alexander Triantis, 2008. "The Value of Financial Flexibility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2263-2296, October.
    20. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    21. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
    22. 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.
    23. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan, 2007. "Corporate governance and the value of cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 599-634, March.
    24. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. "Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
    25. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy: A Discriminant Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(1), pages 193-194, March.
    26. Ohlson, Ja, 1980. "Financial Ratios And The Probabilistic Prediction Of Bankruptcy," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 109-131.
    27. Zmijewski, Me, 1984. "Methodological Issues Related To The Estimation Of Financial Distress Prediction Models," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22, pages 59-82.
    28. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1995. "A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Fixed and Floating Rate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 789-819, July.
    29. Gilson, Stuart C., 1989. "Management turnover and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 241-262, December.
    30. Mark T. Leary & Michael R. Roberts, 2005. "Do Firms Rebalance Their Capital Structures?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2575-2619, December.
    31. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    32. Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1998. "How Costly is Financial (Not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1443-1493, October.
    33. John R. Graham, 2000. "How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 1901-1941, October.
    34. Pierre Collin‐Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2001. "Do Credit Spreads Reflect Stationary Leverage Ratios?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1929-1957, October.
    35. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    36. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    37. Gregory R. Duffee, 1998. "The Relation Between Treasury Yields and Corporate Bond Yield Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2225-2241, December.
    38. Sudheer Chava & Robert A. Jarrow, 2008. "Bankruptcy Prediction with Industry Effects," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 21, pages 517-549, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    39. Anderson, Ronald W & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Design and Valuation of Debt Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 37-68.
    40. Altman, Edward I. & Haldeman, Robert G. & Narayanan, P., 1977. "ZETATM analysis A new model to identify bankruptcy risk of corporations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 29-54, June.
    41. Kim, Chang-Soo & Mauer, David C. & Sherman, Ann E., 1998. "The Determinants of Corporate Liquidity: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 335-359, September.
    42. Shumway, Tyler, 2001. "Forecasting Bankruptcy More Accurately: A Simple Hazard Model," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 101-124, January.
    43. In Joon Kim & Krishna Ramaswamy & Suresh Sundaresan, 1993. "Does Default Risk in Coupons Affect the Valuation of Corporate Bonds?: A Contingent Claims Model," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 22(3), Fall.
    44. Ilya A. Strebulaev & Baozhong Yang, 2012. "The Mystery of Zero-Leverage Firms," NBER Working Papers 17946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    45. Sreedhar T. Bharath & Tyler Shumway, 2008. "Forecasting Default with the Merton Distance to Default Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(3), pages 1339-1369, May.
    46. Pierre Collin-Dufresn & Robert S. Goldstein & J. Spencer Martin, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Giesecke, Kay & Longstaff, Francis A. & Schaefer, Stephen & Strebulaev, Ilya, 2011. "Corporate bond default risk: A 150-year perspective," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 233-250.
    2. Reisz, Alexander S. & Perlich, Claudia, 2007. "A market-based framework for bankruptcy prediction," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 85-131, July.
    3. Kay Giesecke & Francis A. Longstaff & Stephen Schaefer & Ilya Strebulaev, 2010. "Corporate Bond Default Risk: A 150-Year Perspective," NBER Working Papers 15848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vo, D.H. & Pham, B.V.-N. & Pham, T.V.-T. & McAleer, M.J., 2019. "Corporate Financial Distress of Industry Level Listings in an Emerging Market," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI2019-15, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    5. Sheen X. Liu & Howard Qi & Chunchi Wu, 2006. "Personal Taxes, Endogenous Default, and Corporate Bond Yield Spreads," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(6), pages 939-954, June.
    6. Ahsan Habib & Mabel D' Costa & Hedy Jiaying Huang & Md. Borhan Uddin Bhuiyan & Li Sun, 2020. "Determinants and consequences of financial distress: review of the empirical literature," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 60(S1), pages 1023-1075, April.
    7. Duffie, Darrell & Saita, Leandro & Wang, Ke, 2007. "Multi-period corporate default prediction with stochastic covariates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 635-665, March.
    8. Gryglewicz, Sebastian, 2011. "A theory of corporate financial decisions with liquidity and solvency concerns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 365-384, February.
    9. Dang, Viet Anh, 2013. "An empirical analysis of zero-leverage firms: New evidence from the UK," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 189-202.
    10. Hernandez Tinoco, Mario & Wilson, Nick, 2013. "Financial distress and bankruptcy prediction among listed companies using accounting, market and macroeconomic variables," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 394-419.
    11. Strebulaev, Ilya A. & Whited, Toni M., 2012. "Dynamic Models and Structural Estimation in Corporate Finance," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 6(1–2), pages 1-163, November.
    12. Antonio Trujillo-Ponce & Reyes Samaniego-Medina & Clara Cardone-Riportella, 2014. "Examining what best explains corporate credit risk: accounting-based versus market-based models," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 253-276, April.
    13. Dionne, Georges & Laajimi, Sadok, 2012. "On the determinants of the implied default barrier," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 395-408.
    14. Liu, Liang-Chih & Dai, Tian-Shyr & Wang, Chuan-Ju, 2016. "Evaluating corporate bonds and analyzing claim holders’ decisions with complex debt structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 151-174.
    15. repec:wyi:journl:002109 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Augustin, Patrick & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Wang, Sarah Qian, 2014. "Credit Default Swaps: A Survey," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 9(1-2), pages 1-196, December.
    17. Suresh Sundaresan & Neng Wang & Jinqiang Yang, 2015. "Dynamic Investment, Capital Structure, and Debt Overhang," Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-42.
    18. Correia, Ricardo & Población, Javier, 2015. "A structural model with Explicit Distress," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 112-130.
    19. Hui Chen, 2010. "Macroeconomic Conditions and the Puzzles of Credit Spreads and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2171-2212, December.
    20. Duc Hong Vo & Binh Ninh Vo Pham & Chi Minh Ho & Michael McAleer, 2019. "Corporate Financial Distress of Industry Level Listings in Vietnam," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 12(4), pages 1-17, September.
    21. John Nkwoma Inekwe, 2016. "Financial Distress, Employees’ Welfare and Entrepreneurship Among SMEs," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1135-1153, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16995. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.