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Corporate Cash and Employment


  • Kenza Benhima

    (University of Lausanne (HEC))

  • Celine Poilly

    (University of Lausanne)

  • Philippe Bacchetta

    (University of Lausanne)


In the aftermath of the U.S. financial crisis, both a sharp drop in employment and a surge in corporate cash have been observed. In this paper, based on U.S. data, we document that the negative relationship between the corporate cash ratio and employment is systematic, both over time and across firms. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model where heterogenous firms need cash in their production process. We analyze the dynamic impact of aggregate shocks and the cross-firm impact of idiosyncratic shocks. We show that liquidity and productivity shocks tend to generate a negative comovement between the cash ratio and employment. In contrast, standard credit shocks produce a positive relationship. A calibrated version of the model yields a negative comovement that is close to the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenza Benhima & Celine Poilly & Philippe Bacchetta, 2014. "Corporate Cash and Employment," 2014 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:256

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pancost, N. Aaron & Robatto, Roberto, 2019. "The effects of capital requirements on good and bad risk-taking," ESRB Working Paper Series 104, European Systemic Risk Board.
    2. Curtis, Chadwick C. & Garín, Julio & Saif Mehkari, M., 2017. "Inflation and the evolution of firm-level liquid assets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 24-35.
    3. Joseph, Andreas & Kneer, Christiane & van Horen, Neeltje & Saleheen, Jumana, 2019. "All you need is cash: corporate cash holdings and investment after the financial crisis," Bank of England working papers 843, Bank of England.
    4. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Antonio Falato, 2017. "The Loan Covenant Channel: How Bank Health Transmits to the Real Economy," NBER Working Papers 23879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cheng, Chak Hung Jack & Chiu, Ching-Wai (Jeremy) & Hankins, William B. & Stone, Anna-Leigh, 2018. "Partisan conflict, policy uncertainty and aggregate corporate cash holdings," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 78-90.
    6. Flora Lutz & Leopold Zessner-Spitzenberg, 2019. "Sudden Stops and Reserve Accumulation in the Presence of International Liquidity Risk," Vienna Economics Papers 1907, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    7. Armenter, Roc & Hnatkovska, Viktoria, 2017. "Taxes and capital structure: Understanding firms’ savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 13-33.
    8. Melcangi, Davide, 2016. "Firms’ precautionary savings and employment during a credit crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86237, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Mehrotra, Neil & Sergeyev, Dmitriy, 2021. "Financial shocks, firm credit and the Great Recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 296-315.
    10. Adão, Bernardino & Silva, André C., 2020. "The effect of firm cash holdings on monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    11. Assia Elgouacem & Riccardo Zago, 2020. "Share Buybacks, Monetary Policy and the Cost of Debt," Working papers 773, Banque de France.
    12. Andreas Joseph & Christiane Kneer & Neeltje van Horen, 2021. "All You Need Is Cash: Corporate Cash Holdings and Investment after the Global Financial Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 9053, CESifo.
    13. Dmitriy Sergeyev & Neil Mehrotra, 2015. "Financial Shocks and Job Flows," 2015 Meeting Papers 520, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Minetti, Raoul & Moreland, Timothy & Kokas, Sotirios, 2021. "Financial Consolidation and the Cyclicality of Corporate Financing," Working Papers 2021-1, Michigan State University, Department of Economics.
    15. Christoph Görtz & Plutarchos Sakellaris & John D. Tsoukalas, 2017. "Financing Lumpy Adjustment," Working Papers 2017_06, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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