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ABSTRACT

Agency theories predict that the value of corporate cash holdings is less in countries with poor investor protection because of the greater ability of controlling shareholders to extract private benefits from cash holdings in such countries. Using various specifications of the valuation regressions of Fama and French (1998), we find that the relation between cash holdings and firm value is much weaker in countries with poor investor protection than in other countries. In further support of the importance of agency theories, the relation between dividends and firm value is weaker in countries with stronger investor protection.