Aggregate Risk and the Choice between Cash and Lines of Credit

48 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010 Last revised: 22 Jul 2010

See all articles by Viral V. Acharya

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Heitor Almeida

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Murillo Campello

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2010

Abstract

We argue that a firm's aggregate risk is a key determinant of whether it manages its future liquidity needs through cash reserves or bank lines of credit. Banks create liquidity for firms by pooling their idiosyncratic risks. As a result, firms with high aggregate risk find it costly to get credit lines from banks and opt for cash reserves in spite of higher opportunity costs and liquidity premium. We verify our model's hypothesis empirically by showing that firms with high asset beta have a higher ratio of cash reserves to lines of credit, controlling for other determinants of liquidity policy. This effect of asset beta on liquidity management is economically significant, especially for financially constrained firms; is robust to variation in the proxies for firms' exposure to aggregate risk and availability of credit lines; works at the firm level as well as the industry level; and is significantly stronger in times when aggregate risk is high. Consistent with the channel that drives these effects in our model, we find that firms with high asset beta face higher spreads on bank credit lines.

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Almeida, Heitor and Campello, Murillo, Aggregate Risk and the Choice between Cash and Lines of Credit (June 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16122. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1630127

Viral V. Acharya (Contact Author)

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

Heitor Almeida

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

515 East Gregory Drive
4037 BIF
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-3332704 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.illinois.edu/FacultyProfile/faculty_profile.aspx?ID=11357

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Murillo Campello

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

114 East Avenue
369 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Faculty-And-Research/Profile.aspx?id=mnc35

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
54
rank
109,963
Abstract Views
947
PlumX Metrics