The (Self-) Funding of Intangibles

66 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by Robin Döttling

Robin Döttling

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Tomislav Ladika

University of Amsterdam

Enrico C. Perotti

University of Amsterdam - Finance Group; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Tinbergen Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

We model how technological change leads to a shift in corporate investment towards intangible capital, and test its implications for corporate financial policy. While tangible assets can be purchased and funded externally, most intangible capital is created by skilled workers investing their human capital, so it requires lower upfront outlays. Indeed, U.S. high-intangibles firms have larger free cash flows and lower total investment spending, and do not appear more financially constrained. We model and test how these firms optimally retain cash for both a precautionary as well as a retention motive. The optimal reward for risk-averse human capital involves deferred compensation and a commitment to retain cash. High-intangibles firms also should favor a payout policy of repurchases over dividends to avoid penalizing unvested claims. Our empirical evidence supports these predictions.

Keywords: cash holdings, corporate leverage, deferred equity, equity grants, Human Capital, intangible assets, share vesting., Technological change

JEL Classification: G32, G35, J24, J33

Suggested Citation

Döttling, Robin and Ladika, Tomislav and Perotti, Enrico C., The (Self-) Funding of Intangibles (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12618. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3106822

Robin Döttling (Contact Author)

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-46
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Tomislav Ladika

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Roetersstraat 18
Amsterdam, 1018WB
Netherlands
020-5255501 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www1.fee.uva.nl/pp/tladika/

Enrico C. Perotti

University of Amsterdam - Finance Group ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4159 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5285 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/fm/people/pero.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

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