Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets
Using data from the 1986 oil price decrease, I examine the capital expenditures of non-oil subsidiaries of oil companies. I test the joint hypothesis that 1) a decrease in cash/collateral decreases investment, holding fixed the profitability of investment, and 2) the finance costs of different parts of the same corporation are interdependent. The results support this joint hypothesis: oil companies significantly reduced their non-oil investment compared to the median industry investment. The 1986 decline in investment was concentrated in non-oil units that were subsidized by the rest of the company in 1985.