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The Firm-Level Credit Multiplier

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  • Murillo Campello
  • Dirk Hackbarth

Abstract

We study the effect of asset tangibility on corporate financing and investment decisions. Financially constrained firms benefit the most from investing in tangible assets because those assets help relax constraints, allowing for further investment. Using a dynamic model, we characterize this effect - which we call firm-level credit multiplier - and show how asset tangibility increases the sensitivity of investment to Tobin's Q for financially constrained firms. Examining a large sample of manufacturers over the 1971-2005 period as well as simulated data, we find support for our theory's tangibility-investment channel. We further verify that our findings are driven by firms' debt issuance activities. Consistent with our empirical identification strategy, the firm-level credit multiplier is absent from samples of financially unconstrained firms and samples of financially constrained firms with low spare debt capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Murillo Campello & Dirk Hackbarth, 2012. "The Firm-Level Credit Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 17805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17805
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    Cited by:

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    2. Rapp, Marc Steffen & Schmid, Thomas & Urban, Daniel, 2014. "The value of financial flexibility and corporate financial policy," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 288-302.
    3. Arping, Stefan & Sautner, Zacharias, 2010. "Corporate governance and leverage: Evidence from a natural experiment," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 127-134, June.
    4. Tatiana Didier & Ross Levine & Ruth Llovet Montanes & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2020. "Capital Market Financing and Firm Growth," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 166, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    5. Bustamante, M. Cecilia, 2016. "How Do Frictions Affect Corporate Investment? A Structural Approach," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(6), pages 1863-1895, December.
    6. Norden, Lars & van Kampen, Stefan, 2013. "Corporate leverage and the collateral channel," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5062-5072.
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    9. Bing Xu, 2017. "Permissible collateral and access to finance: evidence from a quasi-natural experiment," Working Papers 1750, Banco de España.
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    11. Golbeck, Steven & Linetsky, Vadim, 2013. "Asset financing with credit risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 43-59.

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    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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