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Resource Allocation within Firms and Financial Market Dislocation: Evidence from Diversified Conglomerates

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  • Gregor Matvos
  • Amit Seru

Abstract

When external capital markets are stressed they may not reallocate resources between firms. We show that resource allocation within firms' internal capital markets provides an important force countervailing financial market dislocation. Using data on US conglomerates we empirically verify that firms shift resources between industries in response to shocks to the financial sector. We estimate a structural model of internal capital market to separately identify and quantify the forces driving the reallocation decision and how these forces interact with external capital market stress. The frictions in internal capital markets drive a large wedge between productivity and investment: the weaker (stronger) division obtains too much (little) capital, as though it is 12 (9) percent more (less) productive than it really is. The cost of accessing external capital funds quadruple during extreme financial market dislocations, making resource allocation within firms significantly cheaper. The estimated model allows us to simulate the propagation of the 2007/2008 financial market dislocation. The counterfactual out of sample simulated data is remarkably consistent with the actual data and shows that improved resource allocation in internal capital markets offset financial market stress during the recent financial crisis by 16% to 30% relative to firms with no internal capital markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregor Matvos & Amit Seru, 2011. "Resource Allocation within Firms and Financial Market Dislocation: Evidence from Diversified Conglomerates," NBER Working Papers 17717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanna Nicodano & Luca Regis, 2014. "Complex organizations, tax policy and financial stability," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 359, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2015.
    2. Raffaele Santioni & Fabio Schiantarelli & Philip E. Strahan, 2017. "Internal Capital Markets in Times of Crisis: The Benefit of Group Affiliation in Italy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 929, Boston College Department of Economics.
    3. Bakke, Tor-Erik & Gu, Tiantian, 2017. "Diversification and cash dynamics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 580-601.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:2:p:275-308 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Giroud, Xavier & Mueller, Holger M, 2015. "Capital and Labor Reallocation within Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 10360, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Panagiotis Avramidis & Ioannis Asimakopoulos & Dimitris Malliaropulos & Nickolaos G. Travlos, 2017. "Group affiliation in periods of credit contraction and bank’s reaction: evidence from the Greek crisis," Working Papers 237, Bank of Greece.
    8. Hoang, Daniel & Gatzer, Sebastian & Ruckes, Martin E., 2018. "The economics of capital allocation in firms: Evidence from internal capital markets," Working Paper Series in Economics 115, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    9. Matthias Kehrig & Nicolas Vincent, 2017. "Do Firms Mitigate or Magnify Capital Misallocation? Evidence from Planet-Level Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 6401, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Tyler Muir, 2014. "Aggregate External Financing and Savings Waves," NBER Working Papers 20442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:eee:ecofin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:218-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gatzer, Sebastian & Hoang, Daniel & Ruckes, Martin, 2015. "Internal Capital Markets and Diversified Firms: Theory and Practice," EconStor Preprints 169432, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    13. Giovanna Nicodano & Luca Regis, 2017. "A Trade-off Theory of Ownership and Capital Structure," Working papers 045, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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