IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed013/1151.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rising Intangible Capital, Shrinking Debt Capacity, and the US Corporate Savings Glut

Author

Listed:
  • jae sim

    (Federal Reeserve Board)

  • Dalida Kadyrzhanova

    (University of Maryland)

  • Antonio Falato

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

This paper explores the hypothesis that the rise in intangible capital is a fundamental driver of the secular trend in US corporate cash holdings over the last decades. Using a new measure, we show that intangible capital is the most important firm-level determinant of corporate cash holdings and that its importance increases monotonically with firms' financial constraint status and investment inflexibility. On average, our measure accounts for almost as much of the secular increase in cash since the 1970s as all other determinants together. We then develop a new dynamic model of corporate cash holdings with two productive assets, tangible and intangible capital. The interplay of real and financial frictions in the model leads firms with growth options to optimally hold cash in anticipation of (S,s)-type adjustments in physical capital because they want to avoid raising costly external finance. Since only tangible capital can be pledged as collateral, a shift toward intangible capital shrinks the debt capacity of firms and leads them to hold more cash in order to preserve financial flexibility. This mechanism is quantitatively important, as our model predicts an increase in cash holdings in line with the data in response to a realistic increase in intangible capital. We also consider alternative hypotheses, such as declining interest rates and rising equity issuance costs. Overall, our results suggest that technological change has contributed significantly to recent changes in corporate liquidity management.

Suggested Citation

  • jae sim & Dalida Kadyrzhanova & Antonio Falato, 2013. "Rising Intangible Capital, Shrinking Debt Capacity, and the US Corporate Savings Glut," 2013 Meeting Papers 1151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1151
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2013/paper_1151.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. François Gourio & Jianjun Miao, 2010. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Long-Run Effects of Dividend Tax Reform," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 131-168, January.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2000. "Market Value and Patent Citations: A First Look," NBER Working Papers 7741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
    4. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. "Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-1366, September.
    5. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice B. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, "undated". "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    6. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
    7. Christopher A. Hennessy & Toni M. Whited, 2007. "How Costly Is External Financing? Evidence from a Structural Estimation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1705-1745, August.
    8. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2009. "Intangible Capital And U.S. Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 661-685, September.
    9. Patrick Bolton & Hui Chen & Neng Wang, 2011. "A Unified Theory of Tobin's q, Corporate Investment, Financing, and Risk Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(5), pages 1545-1578, October.
    10. Leigh A. Riddick & Toni M. Whited, 2009. "The Corporate Propensity to Save," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1729-1766, August.
    11. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-593.
    12. Missaka Warusawitharana & Toni M. Whited, 2016. "Equity Market Misvaluation, Financing, and Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(3), pages 603-654.
    13. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2001. "Financial Markets and Firm Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1286-1310, December.
    14. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "Displaced Capital: A Study of Aerospace Plant Closings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 958-992, October.
    15. Faulkender, Michael & Flannery, Mark J. & Hankins, Kristine Watson & Smith, Jason M., 2012. "Cash flows and leverage adjustments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 632-646.
    16. Marcelo L. Veracierto, 2002. "Plant-Level Irreversible Investment and Equilibrium Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 181-197, March.
    17. Epstein, Larry G, 1983. " Aggregating Quasi-Fixed Factors," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(2), pages 191-205.
    18. Alvarez, Fernando & Stokey, Nancy L., 1998. "Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 167-189, September.
    19. Eugene F. Fama, 2002. "Testing Trade-Off and Pecking Order Predictions About Dividends and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
    20. Acharya, Viral V. & Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo, 2007. "Is cash negative debt? A hedging perspective on corporate financial policies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 515-554, October.
    21. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    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. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
    24. Caballero, Ricardo J & Pindyck, Robert S, 1996. "Uncertainty, Investment, and Industry Evolution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 641-662, August.
    25. Carol A. Corrado & Charles R. Hulten, 2010. "How Do You Measure a "Technological Revolution"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 99-104, May.
    26. Natarajan Balasubramanian & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Capital Resalability, Productivity Dispersion, and Market Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 547-557, August.
    27. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-777.
    28. 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.
    29. Toni M. Whited & Guojun Wu, 2006. "Financial Constraints Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 531-559.
    30. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1993. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1629-1658, December.
    31. Christopher A. Hennessy & Toni M. Whited, 2005. "Debt Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1129-1165, June.
    32. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2003. "Testing the pecking order theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 217-248, February.
    33. 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.
    34. Sibilkov, Valeriy, 2009. "Asset Liquidity and Capital Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(5), pages 1173-1196, October.
    35. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross‐Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, August.
    36. Loukas Karabarbounis & Brent Neiman, 2012. "Declining Labor Shares and the Global Rise of Corporate Saving," NBER Working Papers 18154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. Guiseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 223-246.
    38. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    39. Lins, Karl V. & Servaes, Henri & Tufano, Peter, 2010. "What drives corporate liquidity? An international survey of cash holdings and lines of credit," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 160-176, October.
    40. Adriano A. Rampini & S. Viswanathan, 2010. "Collateral, Risk Management, and the Distribution of Debt Capacity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2293-2322, December.
    41. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
    42. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
    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. Dalida Kadyrzhanova & Antonio Falato & Jae Sim, 2012. "Intangible Capital and Corporate Cash Holdings: Theory and Evidence," 2012 Meeting Papers 968, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Antonio Falato & Jae W. Sim, 2014. "Why Do Innovative Firms Hold So Much Cash? Evidence from Changes in State R&D Tax Credits," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-72, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Armenter, Roc & Hnatkovska, Viktoria, 2017. "Taxes and capital structure: Understanding firms’ savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 13-33.
    4. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Whited, Toni M., 2011. "Capital structure dynamics and transitory debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 235-261, February.
    5. Patrick Bolton & Neng Wang & Jinqiang Yang, 2020. "Leverage Dynamics and Financial Flexibility," NBER Working Papers 26802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Xiao, J., 2016. "Corporate Debt Structure, Precautionary Savings, and Investment Dynamics," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1666, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Chirinko, Robert S. & Schaller, Huntley, 2009. "The irreversibility premium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 390-408, April.
    8. Halling, Michael & Yu, Jin & Zechner, Josef, 2016. "Leverage dynamics over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 21-41.
    9. Viral V. Acharya & Soku Byoun & Zhaoxia Xu, 2020. "The Sensitivity of Cash Savings to the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 27517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Katagiri, Mitsuru, 2014. "A macroeconomic approach to corporate capital structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 79-94.
    11. Lockhart, G. Brandon, 2014. "Credit lines and leverage adjustments," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 274-288.
    12. 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.
    13. Safronov, M., 2016. "Experimentation and Learning-by-Doing," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1667, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Tyler Muir, 2014. "Aggregate External Financing and Savings Waves," NBER Working Papers 20442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Muir, Tyler, 2016. "Aggregate external financing and savings waves," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 116-133.
    16. Dang, Viet Anh & Kim, Minjoo & Shin, Yongcheol, 2014. "Asymmetric adjustment toward optimal capital structure: Evidence from a crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 226-242.
    17. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Igor Cunha & Michael S. Weisbach, 2014. "Corporate Liquidity Management: A Conceptual Framework and Survey," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 135-162, December.
    18. Ebrahim, M. Shahid & Girma, Sourafel & Shah, M. Eskandar & Williams, Jonathan, 2014. "Dynamic capital structure and political patronage: The case of Malaysia," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 117-128.
    19. Bolton, Patrick & Chen, Hui & Wang, Neng, 2013. "Market timing, investment, and risk management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 40-62.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    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:red:sed013:1151. 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/sedddea.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: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.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.