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Corporate Demand for Liquidity

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  • Heitor Almeida
  • Murillo Campello
  • Michael S. Weisbach

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of corporate liquidity demand and provides new evidence on corporate cash policies. Firms have access to valuable investment opportunities, but potentially cannot fund them with the use of external finance. Firms that are financially unconstrained can undertake all positive NPV projects regardless of their cash position, so their cash positions are irrelevant. In contrast, firms facing financial constraints have an optimal cash position determined by the value of today's investments relative to the expected value of future investments. The model predicts that constrained firms will save a positive fraction of incremental cash flows, while unconstrained firms will not. We also consider the impact of Jensen (1986) style overinvestment on the model's equilibrium, and derive conditions under which overinvestment affects corporate cash policies. We test the model's implications on a large sample of publicly-traded manufacturing firms over the 1981-2000 period, and find that firms classified as financially constrained save a positive fraction of their cash flows, while firms classified as unconstrained do not. Moreover, constrained firms save a higher fraction of cash inflows during recessions. These results are robust to the use of alternative proxies for financial constraints, and to several changes in the empirical specification. We also find weak evidence consistent with our agency-based model of corporate liquidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2002. "Corporate Demand for Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 9253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9253
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Ronald W. & Carverhill, Andrew, 2005. "A Model of Corporate Liquidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 4994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Petr Koráb & Jitka Pomenková, 2014. "Financial Crisis and Financing Constraints of SMEs in Visegrad Countries," WIFO Working Papers 485, WIFO.
    3. Dasgupta, Sudipto & Sengupta, Kunal, 2007. "Corporate liquidity, investment and financial constraints: Implications from a multi-period model," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 151-174, April.
    4. Roberto Álvarez & Andrés Sagner & Carla Valdivia, 2012. "Liquidity Crises and Corporate Cash Holdings in Chile," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 50(4), pages 378-392, December.
    5. Arun Khanna, 2004. "Corporate Investments, Liquidity and Bank Financing: Empirical Evidence from an Emerging Market," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-649, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Anderson, Ronald W. & Carverhill, Andrew, 2005. "A model of corporate liquidity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24643, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Ozkan, Aydin & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2004. "Corporate cash holdings: An empirical investigation of UK companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2103-2134, September.
    8. Halil Ibrahim Aydin & Cafer Kaplan & Mehtap Kesriyeli & Erdal Ozmen & Cihan Yalcin & Serkan Yigit, 2006. "Corporate Sector Financial Structure in Turkey : A Descriptive Analysis," Working Papers 0607, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    9. Syed Manzur Quader & Mohammed Nayeem Abdullah, 2016. "Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash: A Cross Country Analysis," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 562-572.

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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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