The Cash Flow-Investment Relationship: International Evidence of Limited Access to External Finance
18 Pages Posted: 2 May 2005
Date Written: March 2005
In efficient and complete financial markets, internal cash flows should have no impact on investment levels; but in inefficient and incomplete markets, the Pecking Order theory contends that there should be a positive relationship. Further, some studies show that investments of financially constrained firms are more sensitive to internal funds than those of less constrained firms but other studies show the opposite. Using comparable recent data on firms in the four largest industrialized countries (US, UK, Japan, and Germany), this study documents that in all four countries, controlling for the investment opportunity set, investment levels are significantly positively influenced by levels of internal cash flows, indicating that firms face limitation in access to external finance and may operate using a pecking order. Further, international differences in investment level sensitivities to opportunities indicate closer outside monitoring of firms in the bank-centered countries.
Keywords: Cashflows, Capex, Japan, pecking order,
JEL Classification: F21, G31, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation