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Sheltering Corporate Assets from Political Extraction

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  • Lorenzo Caprio
  • Mara Faccio
  • John J. McConnell

Abstract

We hypothesize that firms structure their asset holdings so as to shelter assets from extraction by politicians and bureaucrats. In countries where the threat of political extraction is higher, we hypothesize that firms hold a lower fraction of their assets in liquid form. Consistent with this conjecture, using data for over 30,000 firms across 109 countries, we find that corporate holdings of liquid assets are negatively correlated with measures of political corruption. Further, annual investment in property, plant, equipment, and inventory plus dividends is positively correlated with measures of political corruption suggesting that owners channel their cash into harder to extract assets. To the extent that the threat of political extraction moves firms away from their otherwise optimal levels of liquid assets, our findings suggest that the threat of political extraction may reduce economic development not only through the direct costs of political payoffs, but also because the potential for asset extraction moves firms away from their otherwise optimal asset holdings.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Caprio & Mara Faccio & John J. McConnell, 2010. "Sheltering Corporate Assets from Political Extraction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1240, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1240
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Botta & Luca Colombo, 2016. "Macroeconomic and Institutional Determinants of Capital Structure Decisions," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def038, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    2. Chen, Deqiu & Li, Sifei & Xiao, Jason Zezhong & Zou, Hong, 2014. "The effect of government quality on corporate cash holdings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 384-400.
    3. Denis, David J., 2011. "Financial flexibility and corporate liquidity," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 667-674, June.
    4. Feng, Xunan & Johansson, Anders C., 2014. "Escaping political extraction: Political participation, institutions, and cash holdings in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 98-112.
    5. Li, Xiaorong & Chan, Kam C., 2016. "Communist party control and stock price crash risk: Evidence from China," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 5-7.
    6. Sokolov, Vladimir & Solanko, Laura, 2016. "Political influence, firm performance and survival," BOFIT Discussion Papers 20/2016, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    7. Xu, Nianhang & Chen, Qinyuan & Xu, Yan & Chan, Kam C., 2016. "Political uncertainty and cash holdings: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 276-295.
    8. Smith, Jared D., 2016. "US political corruption and firm financial policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 350-367.
    9. Boubakri, Narjess & El Ghoul, Sadok & Saffar, Walid, 2014. "Political rights and equity pricing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 326-344.
    10. Amess, Kevin & Banerji, Sanjay & Lampousis, Athanasios, 2015. "Corporate cash holdings: Causes and consequences," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 421-433.
    11. Hamdi Ben-Nasr, 2015. "Government Ownership and Dividend Policy: Evidence from Newly Privatised Firms," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5-6), pages 665-704, June.
    12. Guedhami, Omrane & Kwok, Chuck C.Y. & Shao, Liang, 2017. "Political freedom and corporate payouts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 514-529.
    13. repec:eee:finana:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:87-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Barbopoulos, Leonidas & Marshall, Andrew & MacInnes, Cameron & McColgan, Patrick, 2014. "Foreign direct investment in emerging markets and acquirers’ value gains," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 604-619.
    15. repec:eee:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:19-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Boubakri, Narjess & El Ghoul, Sadok & Saffar, Walid, 2015. "Firm growth and political institutions," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 104-125.
    17. La Rocca, Maurizio & Cambrea, Domenico Rocco & Cariola, Alfio, 2017. "The role of corruption in shaping the value of holding cash," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 104-108.
    18. Kusnadi, Yuanto & Yang, Zhifeng & Zhou, Yuxiao, 2015. "Institutional development, state ownership, and corporate cash holdings: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 351-359.
    19. repec:eee:finsta:v:29:y:2017:i:c:p:13-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:oup:rcorpf:v:5:y:2016:i:1:p:102-138. is not listed on IDEAS

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