The impact of financing constraints on investment
This thesis is an empirical and theoretical analysis of the impact of financing constraints on firm-level investment behaviour. Its primary objectives are to model this impact, and to test the restrictions these models place on the data. Chapter 1 contains a discussion of these themes, and provides an overview of the thesis. Chapter 2 addresses the empirical question of whether innovative firms are financially constrained. To answer this question, several structural investment equations are tested, and the sensitivity of physical investment expenditures to internal finance is compared across innovative and non-innovative firms. The investment expenditures of innovative firms are found to be more sensitive to cash flow than those of non-innovative firms. These results support the hypothesis that innovative firms are financially constrained. The third chapter builds a theoretical model to explain a widely reported fact in the inventory literature, which is that the variance of production exceeds the variance of sales. This fact contradicts a prediction of the standard Linear-Quadratic model of inventory investment, and for this reason is often referred to as the "excess variance of production" puzzle. In this chapter, a model of inventory investment is built. It is shown that when financing constraints are imposed on the model, it can explain the excess variance of production puzzle. In the absence of these constraints, the model does not deliver this result. The fourth chapter returns to the theme of identifying financially constrained firms. A weakness of existing tests of financing constraints is that they are not both direct and structural. This chapter addresses that criticism by constructing a model of investment from which is derived a simple and direct, structural test of the null hypothesis that a group of firms is financially constrained. The test is implemented on a panel of U.S. manufacturing firms. The results support the findings of existing tests.