Market Timing, Investment, and Risk Management

59 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2010 Last revised: 29 Mar 2012

Patrick Bolton

Columbia Business School - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Hui Chen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Neng Wang

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 16, 2012

Abstract

Firms face uncertain financing conditions, which can be quite severe as exemplified by the recent financial crisis. We capture the firm's precautionary cash hoarding and market timing motives in a tractable model of dynamic corporate financial management when external financing conditions are stochastic. Firms value financial slack and build cash reserves to mitigate financial constraints. The finitely-lived favorable financing condition induces them to rationally time the equity market. This market timing motive can cause investment to be decreasing (and the marginal value of cash to be increasing) in financial slack, and can lead a financially constrained firm to gamble. Quantitatively, we find that firms' optimal responses to the threat of a financial crisis can significantly smooth out the impact of financing shocks on investments, marginal values of cash, and the risk premium over time. Thus, a firm may still appear unconstrained based on its relatively smooth investment over time despite significant underinvestment. This smoothing effect can be used to disentangle financing shocks from productivity shocks empirically.

Keywords: risk management, liquidity, financial crisis, market timing, investment, q theory

JEL Classification: E22, E44, G3

Suggested Citation

Bolton, Patrick and Chen, Hui and Wang, Neng, Market Timing, Investment, and Risk Management (February 16, 2012). AFA 2012 Chicago Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1571149 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1571149

Patrick Bolton (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Department of Economics ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/pbolton/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Hui Chen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-324-3896 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Neng Wang

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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