IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Internal finance and investment : another look

  • Samuel, Cherian
Registered author(s):

    One of the best documented empirical facts in economic research has been the positive relationship between internal finance and cash flows and capital expenditures and investment. But disputes about the analytical basis for the cash flow theory have been largely unresolved. There are two distinct approaches to the cash flow theory of investments: the managerial (managers are primarily interested in maximizing the firm's growth rate) and information theoretic (managers try to maximize shareholder value). Using a panel of US manufacturing firms (1972-90), the author tries to distinguish between the approaches. The results suggest that firms rely on internal finance for capital expenditures because of managerial considerations. The principal shortcoming of the information-theoretic approach is its reliance on dividend practices as a decisive criterion for studying firm heterogeneity. Dividend practices are incapable of distinguishing between managerial and information-theoretic approaches. But one can distinguish between managerial and information-theoretic approaches using such variables as size, exchange listings and the ratio of R&D to sales and make contrasting predictions about the firm's reliance on internal finance for capital expenditures. The evidence shows that the firm's observed reliance of capital expenditures on internal finance is driven by managerial rather than information-theoretic considerations. While no current research directly distinguishes between managerial and information theoretic approaches, preliminary evidence seems to favor the managerial approach. And even though the stock market may play a limited role as a source of finance, policy initiatives to reform the financial sector and develop capital markets are likely to enhance the overall efficiency of the resources allocation process in the economy.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1663.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 31 Oct 1996
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1663
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-59, September.
    2. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1971. "Econometric Studies of Investment Behavior: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1111-47, December.
    3. repec:oup:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:3:p:453-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Oliner, Stephen D & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Sources of the Financing Hierarchy for Business Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 643-54, November.
    6. Lin, Ji-Chai & Howe, John S, 1990. " Insider Trading in the OTC Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1273-84, September.
    7. Mueller, Dennis C, 1972. "A Life Cycle Theory of the Firm," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 199-219, July.
    8. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
    9. David Cobham & Ramesh Subramaniam, 1995. "Corporate Finance in Developing Countries: New Evidence for India," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 9512, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
    10. Olivier J. Blanchard & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1993. "What do Firms do with Cash Windfalls?," NBER Working Papers 4258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jaramillo, Fidel & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Weiss, Andrew, 1993. "The effect of financial liberalization on allocation of credit : panel data evidence for Ecuador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1092, The World Bank.
    12. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    13. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    14. Grabowski, Henry G & Mueller, Dennis C, 1972. "Managerial and Stockholder Welfare Models of Firm Expenditures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(1), pages 9-24, February.
    15. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    16. Benjamin M. Friedman & David I. Laibson, 1989. "Economic Implications of Extraordinary Movements in Stock Prices," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(2), pages 137-190.
    17. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Schiantarelli, F. & Georgoutsos, D., 1990. "Monopolistic competition and the Q theory of investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1061-1078, July.
    19. Dale Jorgenson, 1967. "The Theory of Investment Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Determinants of Investment Behavior, pages 129-175 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    21. V. V. Chari & Ravi Jagannathan & Aharon R. Ofer, 1987. "Seasonalities in security returns: the case of earnings announcements," Staff Report 110, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    22. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    23. Bilsborrow, Richard E, 1977. "The Determinants of Fixed Investment by Manufacturing Firms in a Developing Country," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(3), pages 697-717, October.
    24. R. Glenn Hubbard & Anil K Kashyap & Toni M. Whited, 1993. "Internal Finance and Firm Investment," NBER Working Papers 4392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:1:p:33-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1663. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.