Economic Policy Uncertainty and the Marginal Value of Corporate Cash Holdings
39 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2021 Last revised: 22 Sep 2022
Date Written: March 18, 2022
This paper studies the relationship between economic policy uncertainty (EPU) and the marginal value of corporate cash holdings. We find that the markets place a lower value on firms’ cash holdings under the high level of EPU. Our quasi-experiment tests relating to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the gubernatorial elections support the causal relationship between EPU and the value of cash holdings. Further, we show that this relation is more pronounced for firms with less redeployable assets, reduced investments, more investment opportunities, poor corporate governance, or excessive cash. Overall, we reveal that EPU reduces the market value of corporate cash holdings due to investment reductions.
Keywords: Cash holdings; Economic policy uncertainty; Investment
JEL Classification: G18; G30; G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation