Financial Constraints, Liquidity Management and Investment



Investment and liquidity management are analyzed in a sector in which firms are exogenously cash constrained and empirical estimates of Tobin's q provide reliable measures of investment opportunity. Across the entire sector, we document substantial realized investment as well as high investment sensitivity to q. Investment is also sensitive to measures of financial market frictions, suggesting that constraints on retention of cash flow distort investment decisions. Liquidity is managed through dividend policy and access to short-term bank finance, in which bank lines of credit smooth variation in available cash flow and accelerate investment. Using the Kaplan–Zingales method for measuring the degree of financial constraint, we identify substantial differences between investment and liquidity management policies of firms, in which more (less) financially constrained firms in our sample exhibit high (low) investment and liquidity management sensitivity to variables that measure financial market frictions.