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Banking Crises and Cash Holdings: Evidence from regulated and unregulated Industries

  • This study examines to what extent a banking crisis and the ensuing potential liquidity shortage affect corporate cash holdings. Specifically, how do firms adjust their liquidity management prior to and during a banking crisis when they are restricted in their financing options? These restrictions might not result from firm-specific characteristics but also incorporate the effects of certain regulatory requirements. I analyse the real effects of indicators of a potential crisis and the occurrence of a crisis event on corporate cash holdings for both unregulated and regulated firms from 31 different countries. In contrast to existing studies, I perform this analysis on the basis of a long observation period (1997 to 2014 respectively 2003 to 2014) using multiple crisis indicators (early warning signals) and multiple crisis events. For regulated firms, this study makes use of a unique sample of country-specific regulatory information, which is collected by hand for 15 countries and converted into an ordinal scale based on the severity of the regulation. Regulated firms are selected from a single industry: Real Estate Investment Trusts. These firms invest in real estate properties and let these properties to third parties. Real Estate Investment Trusts that comply with the aforementioned regulations are exempt from income taxation and are punished for a breach, which makes this industry particularly interesting for the analysis of capital structure decisions. The results for regulated and unregulated firms are mostly inconclusive. I find no convincing evidence that the degree of regulation affects the level of cash holdings for regulated firms before and during a banking crisis. For unregulated firms, I find strong evidence that financially constrained firms have higher cash holdings than unconstrained firms. Further, there is no real evidence that either financially constrained firms or unconstrained firms increase their cash holdings when observing an early warning signal. In case of a banking crisis, the results differ for univariate tests and in panel regressions. In the univariate setting, I find evidence that both types of firms hold higher levels of cash during a banking crisis. In panel regressions, the effect is only evident for financially unconstrained firms from the US, and when controlling for financial stress, it is also apparent for financially constrained US firms. For firms from Europe, the results are predominantly inconclusive. For banking crises that are preceded by an early warning signal, there is only evidence for an increase in cash holdings for unconstrained US firms when controlling for financial stress.

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Author:Daniel Metze
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2018/12/21
Publishing institution:Universit├Ąt Trier
Granting institution:Universit├Ąt Trier, Fachbereich 4
Date of final exam:2018/09/26
Release Date:2019/01/09
Tag:Banking Crises; Cash holdings; Early warning signals; Real Estate Investment Trusts
GND Keyword:Bankenkrise; Finanzierung; Kassenhaltung
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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