Corporate Liquidity Management under Moral Hazard

Simon Mayer (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

April 15, 2019, 12:30–14:00


Room MF 323

Finance Seminar


We present a model of liquidity management and financing decisions under moral hazard in which a firm accumulates cash to forestall liquidity default. When the cash balance is high, a tension arises between accumulating more cash to reduce the probability of default and providing incentives for the manager. When the cash balance is low, the firm hedges against liquidity default by transferring cash ow risk to the manager via high powered incentives. Under mild moral hazard, firms with more volatile cash flows tend to transfer less risk to the manager and hold more cash. In contrast, under severe moral hazard, an increase in cash- flow volatility exacerbates agency cost, thereby reducing firm value, overall hedging and in particular precautionary cash-holdings. Agency conflicts lead to endogenous, state-dependent refinancing costs related to the severity of the moral hazard problem. Financially constrained firms pay low wages and instead promise the manager large rewards in case of successful refinancing.