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Inventory accumulation, cash flow, and corporate investment

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I show that firms' ability to adjust variable capital in response to productivity shocks has important implications for the interpretation of the widely documented investment-cash flow sensitivities. The variable capital adjustment is sufficient for firms to capture small variations in

I show that firms' ability to adjust variable capital in response to productivity shocks has important implications for the interpretation of the widely documented investment-cash flow sensitivities. The variable capital adjustment is sufficient for firms to capture small variations in profitability, but when the revision in profitability is relatively large, limited substitutability between the factors of production may call for fixed capital investment. Hence, firms with lower substitutability are more likely to invest in both factors together and have larger sensitivities of fixed capital investment to cash flow. By building a frictionless capital markets model that allows firms to optimize over fixed capital and inventories as substitutable factors, I establish the significance of the substitutability channel in explaining cross-sectional differences in cash flow sensitivities. Moreover, incorporating variable capital into firms' investment decisions helps explain the sharp decrease in cash flow sensitivities over the past decades. Empirical evidence confirms the model's predictions.

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Date Created
2013

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From Playground to Boardroom: Endowed Social Status and Managerial Performance

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By matching a CEO's place of residence in his or her formative years with U.S. Census survey data, I obtain an estimate of the CEO's family wealth and study the link between the CEO's endowed social status and firm performance.

By matching a CEO's place of residence in his or her formative years with U.S. Census survey data, I obtain an estimate of the CEO's family wealth and study the link between the CEO's endowed social status and firm performance. I find that, on average, CEOs born into poor families outperform those born into wealthy families, as measured by a variety of proxies for firm performance. There is no evidence of higher risk-taking by the CEOs from low social status backgrounds. Further, CEOs from less privileged families perform better in firms with high R&D spending but they underperform CEOs from wealthy families when firms operate in a more uncertain environment. Taken together, my results show that endowed family wealth of a CEO is useful in identifying his or her managerial ability.

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Date Created
2018