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First-mover advantage, time to finance, and cash holdings

Liang Ma, Antonio S. Mello and Youchang Wu

Journal of Corporate Finance, 2020, vol. 62, issue C

Abstract: We examine the strategic role of cash in a two-stage competition model featuring a first-mover advantage in product markets and time delays in outside financing. Due to the joint effect of the first-mover advantage, time to finance, market profitability, participation cost, and the arrival rate of investment opportunities, large cash holdings can arise in equilibrium in both concentrated and diffuse industries, leading to a rich relation between industry concentration and cash holdings. The model also reveals novel interactions of these drivers of cash holdings that are consistent with empirical evidence. Furthermore, despite that cash is held to enable fast responses to investment opportunities, the correlation between cash holdings and realized investment is low. Our model provides an explanation for the large variation in cash holdings across industries and over time, and the strong correlation between cash holdings and R&D.

Keywords: Cash holding; First-mover advantage; Time to finance; Financing friction; Product market competition; R&D (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G30 G32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2020.101584

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