Purpose: Using a sample of US firms more likely to be affected by agency problems, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between corporate value and financial policies and to study whether credit market freedom (CMF) affects this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The authors identify a sub-sample of non-financial US firms potentially affected by agency problems using a joint criterion of over-investment and high cash-holdings. A generalized method of moment econometric framework is then used to estimate the impact of cash-holdings and leverage policies on firm value for this sub-sample. This exercise is also performed by taking into account the level of CMF of the state where the firm operates. Findings: The results show that the relationship between cash-holdings – or leverage – and firm value is “U-shaped.” In addition, when the authors focus on the role played by the level of CMF, the authors find a number of interesting facts: CMF facilitates the firms’ access to external finance, thereby relaxing the need of internal funds for investing; the relationship between cash-holdings and firm value is “U-shaped” only in states enjoying high levels of CMF; the probability of observing firms more likely to be affected by agency problems is higher in states with high levels of CMF. Research limitations/implications: The empirical findings provide important insights to policymakers, shareholders and practitioners. To policymakers, the results suggest that providing institutional environments with greater CMF can enhance the firm access to external finance, the level of corporate investment and the economic growth. To shareholders, the findings highlight that the conflicts of interest between managers and shareholders may be more severe in states with higher CMF; therefore, adequate financing policies and corporate governance mechanisms must be used to mitigate these conflicts and maximize the firm value. Finally, to practitioners, the evidence suggests that, in valuing a firm, they must take into consideration whether the economic environment provides managers with more freedom to stockpile cash and invest sub-optimally. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the corporate finance and governance literature in two respects. First, it provides new evidence on the shape of the relationship between cash holdings and firm value for firms affected by empire-building managers. Second, at the best of the knowledge, it is the first corporate finance study, which analyzes the role played by the CMF at the state level on the capital structure and the level of investment of the firms.

Finance, corporate value and credit market freedom in overinvesting US firms

Iona, Alfonsina
Primo
;
De Benedetto, Marco Alberto;Assefa, Dawit Zerihun;Limosani, Michele
2020

Abstract

Purpose: Using a sample of US firms more likely to be affected by agency problems, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between corporate value and financial policies and to study whether credit market freedom (CMF) affects this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The authors identify a sub-sample of non-financial US firms potentially affected by agency problems using a joint criterion of over-investment and high cash-holdings. A generalized method of moment econometric framework is then used to estimate the impact of cash-holdings and leverage policies on firm value for this sub-sample. This exercise is also performed by taking into account the level of CMF of the state where the firm operates. Findings: The results show that the relationship between cash-holdings – or leverage – and firm value is “U-shaped.” In addition, when the authors focus on the role played by the level of CMF, the authors find a number of interesting facts: CMF facilitates the firms’ access to external finance, thereby relaxing the need of internal funds for investing; the relationship between cash-holdings and firm value is “U-shaped” only in states enjoying high levels of CMF; the probability of observing firms more likely to be affected by agency problems is higher in states with high levels of CMF. Research limitations/implications: The empirical findings provide important insights to policymakers, shareholders and practitioners. To policymakers, the results suggest that providing institutional environments with greater CMF can enhance the firm access to external finance, the level of corporate investment and the economic growth. To shareholders, the findings highlight that the conflicts of interest between managers and shareholders may be more severe in states with higher CMF; therefore, adequate financing policies and corporate governance mechanisms must be used to mitigate these conflicts and maximize the firm value. Finally, to practitioners, the evidence suggests that, in valuing a firm, they must take into consideration whether the economic environment provides managers with more freedom to stockpile cash and invest sub-optimally. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the corporate finance and governance literature in two respects. First, it provides new evidence on the shape of the relationship between cash holdings and firm value for firms affected by empire-building managers. Second, at the best of the knowledge, it is the first corporate finance study, which analyzes the role played by the CMF at the state level on the capital structure and the level of investment of the firms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3177598
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