Investment and Internal Finance: Asymmetric Information or Managerial Discretion?
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This paper examines the investment-cash flow sensitivity of publicly listed firms in The Netherlands. Investment-cash flow sensitivities can be attributed to overinvestment resulting from the abuse of managerial discretion, but also to underinvestment due to information problems. The Dutch corporate governance structure presents a number of distinctive features, in particular the limited influence of shareholders, the presence of large blockholders, and the importance of bank ties. We expect that in The Netherlands, the managerial discretion problem is more important than the asymmetric information problem. We use Tobin's Q to discriminate between firms with these problems, where LOW Q firms face the managerial discretion problem and HIGH Q firms the asymmetric information problem. As hypothesized, we find substantially larger investment-cash flow sensitivity for LOW Q firms. Moreover, specifically in the LOW Q sample, we find that firms with higher (bank) debt have lower investment-cash flow sensitivity. This finding shows that leverage, and particularly bank debt, is a key disciplinary mechanism which reduces the managerial discretion problem.
Financial Openness and Business Cycle Volatility
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper discusses whether the integration of international financial markets affects business cycle volatility. In the framework of a new open economy macro-model, we show that the link between financial openness and business cycle volatility depends on the nature of the underlying shock. Empirical evidence supports this conclusion. Our results also show that the link between business cycle volatility and financial openness has not been stable over time.
Local Taxes and Capital Structure Choice
International Tax and Public Finance,
This paper investigates the question of taxation and capital structure choice in Germany. Germany represents an excellent case study for investigating the question of whether and to what extent taxes influence the debt-equity decision of firms, because the relative tax burdens on debt and equity vary greatly across communities. German communities levy local taxes on profits and long-term debt payments in addition to personal and corporate taxes on the federal level. A stylized model is presented incorporating these taxes. The model shows that local taxes create substantial incentives for firms to use debt financing. Furthermore, the paper empirically investigates the effect of local business taxes on the share of debt used to finance incremental investments by German firms. I find that local taxes significantly influence the capital structure choice of firms, controlling for a large number of other factors. In an extensive sensitivity analysis the tax effect are found to be robust across several different specifications.
Relationship Lending within a Bank-Based System: Evidence from European Small Business Data
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We investigate relationship lending using detailed contract information from nearly 18,000 bank loans to small Belgian firms operating within the continental European bank-based system. Specifically, we investigate the impact of different measures of relationship strength on price and nonprice terms of the loan contract. We test for the possibility of rent shifting by banks. The evidence shows two opposing effects. On the one hand, the loan rate increases with the duration of a bank–firm relationship. On the other hand, the scope of a relationship, defined as the purchase of other information-sensitive products from a bank, decreases the loan's interest rate substantially. Relationship duration and scope thus have opposite effects on loan rates, with the latter being more important. We also find that the collateral requirement is decreasing in the duration of the relationship and increasing in its scope.
The Effect of Expected Effective Corporate Tax Rates on Incremental Financing Decisions
IMF Staff Papers,
This paper uses U.S. panel data to estimate the effect of expected effective corporate tax rates on the amount of debt issued by firms. The paper directly estimates expected corporate tax rates using rational expectations. The estimated measures of expected effective tax rates of firms are related to a continuous measure of incremental debt financing. The paper finds that expected effective tax rates are significantly and positively related to a higher level of debt financing. Simulations suggest that debt issues would double if firms were unable to shield profits and actually faced the statutory tax rate.