Do U.S. Firms Hold More Cash?

45 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2014

See all articles by Lee Pinkowitz

Lee Pinkowitz

Georgetown University - Department of Finance

René M. Stulz

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Rohan Williamson

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business

Date Written: April 14, 2014

Abstract

Using medians, U.S. firms do not hold more cash than similar foreign firms, irrespective of whether the foreign firms come from countries with good investor protection or not. With means, they do. The means, in contrast to the medians, are affected by U.S. multinationals. U.S. multinationals with high R&D expenditures hold 38.7% more cash than comparable foreign firms, but there is evidence that these high cash holdings may result more from high R&D expenditures than from multinationality. The crisis leaves only small traces in the recent cash holdings of firms. Firms throughout the world decreased their cash holdings during the crisis and replenished their cash holdings afterwards as expected with the precautionary motive for cash holdings. However, U.S. firms hold more cash than firms from countries where the stock market fell less during the crisis. There is no evidence that the determinants of cash holdings changed from before the crisis to after the crisis.

Keywords: Cash Holdings, Domestic corporations, Foreign corporations, Multinational Corporations, Repatriation Tax, Financial Crisis, R&D

JEL Classification: G32, F23

Suggested Citation

Pinkowitz, Lee Foster and Stulz, Rene M. and Williamson, Rohan G., Do U.S. Firms Hold More Cash? (April 14, 2014). Fisher College of Business Working Paper No. 2014-03-06; Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper No. 2426497. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2426497 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2426497

Lee Foster Pinkowitz

Georgetown University - Department of Finance ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-2689 (Phone)
202-687-4031 (Fax)

Rene M. Stulz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/faculty/stulz

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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

Rohan G. Williamson

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-2284 (Phone)
202-687-4031 (Fax)

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