Employee performance and corporate cash holdings
Bond ratings, Cash holdings, Employee performance, Managerial ability
International Journal of Managerial Finance
Purpose: This paper aims to examine the effect employee performance has on subsequent corporate cash holdings. Design/methodology/approach: The authors utilize panel data estimation, including an instrumental variable approach, to identify the relation between employee performance and subsequent corporate cash holdings. These panel data consist of 11,087 firm-year observations over the period 1992 to 2015. Findings: The authors document a positive and statistically significant relation between firm employee performance and subsequent cash balances. A one standard deviation increase in employee performance is associated with an increase in cash holdings ranging from 1 to 2 percent. The findings support the view that firms seek to accommodate the preferences of better performing employees, thereby requiring greater levels of cash. This positive relation is most evident among firms with low bond ratings and firms with low managerial ability – characteristics that are indicative of a firm's ability to access capital markets. Originality/value: Better corporate governance of the firm is commonly associated with lower levels of cash. The findings of this paper, however, suggest that holding greater levels of cash may be a consequence of corporate efforts to accommodate the needs of their employees. The predictive content of employee performance is orthogonal to existing determinants of corporate cash holdings shown in the literature. Furthermore, this paper shows the potential for firm cash balances to be an alternative and transparent measure that signals better employee performance and more socially responsible firm behavior.
Department of Finance
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Flugum, Ryan; Harper, Joel; and Sun, Li, "Employee performance and corporate cash holdings" (2021). Faculty Publications. 126.