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The Impact of Financial Structure on Firms' Financial Constraints: A Cross-Country Analysis

  • Christopher F. Baum

    ()

    (Boston College
    DIW Berlin)

  • Dorothea Schäfer

    ()

    (DIW Berlin)

  • Oleksandr Talavera

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

We estimate firms' cash flow sensitivity of cash to empirically test how the financial system's structure and activity level influence their financial constraints. For this purpose we merge Almeida et al. (2004), a path-breaking new design for evaluating a firm's financial constraints, with Levine (2002), who paved the way for comparative analysis of financial systems around the world. We conjecture that a country's financial system, both in terms of its structure and its level of development, influences the cash flow sensitivity of cash of constrained firms but leaves unconstrained firms unaffected. We test our hypothesis with a large international sample of 80,000 firm-years from 1989 to 2006. Our findings reveal that both the structure of the financial system and its level of development matter. Bank-based financial systems provide the constrained firms with easier access to external financing.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series with number 003.

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Date of creation: 21 Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:uea:aepppr:2010_3
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  1. 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, 08.
  2. Cummins, Jason & Hassett, Kevin & Oliner, Stephen, 1997. "Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations and Internal Funds," Working Papers 97-30, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. 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.
  4. Jarrad Harford, 1999. "Corporate Cash Reserves and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1969-1997, December.
  5. Chakraborty, Shankha & Ray, Tridip, 2006. "Bank-based versus market-based financial systems: A growth-theoretic analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 329-350, March.
  6. Viral V. Acharya & Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2005. "Is Cash Negative Debt? A Hedging Perspective on Corporate Financial Policies," NBER Working Papers 11391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  8. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Not Valid Measures Of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 707-712, May.
  9. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
  10. Inessa Love, 2003. "Financial Development and Financing Constraints: International Evidence from the Structural Investment Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 765-791, July.
  11. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
  12. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2000. "Funding growth in bank-based and market-based financial systems : evidence from firm level data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2432, The World Bank.
  13. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Useful: A Comment On Kaplan And Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705, May.
  14. Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which is Better?," NBER Working Papers 9138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  16. Khurana, Inder K. & Martin, Xiumin & Pereira, Raynolde, 2006. "Financial Development and the Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(04), pages 787-808, December.
  17. Nathalie Moyen, 2004. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities: Constrained versus Unconstrained Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2061-2092, October.
  18. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  19. Sean Cleary, 1999. "The Relationship between Firm Investment and Financial Status," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 673-692, 04.
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