We compare the investment–cash flow sensitivity of Korean chaebols (conglomerates) and non-chaebol firms. We show that investment–cash flow sensitivity is low and insignificant for chaebol firms but is high and significant for non-chaebol firms. On the other hand, a chaebol firm's investment is significantly related to the growth opportunities but that of a non-chaebol firm is not. A chaebol firm's investment is significantly affected by the cash flow of other firms within the same chaebol even though they are independent legal entities. With these findings, we argue that there is an internal capital market in a chaebol and the internal capital market reduces the financing constraints of the chaebol. However, the operation of the internal capital market does not improve the efficiency of allocation of scarce funds in the Korean economy since we find that chaebols invest more than non-chaebol firms despite their relatively poor growth opportunities.
Journal of Corporate Finance – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 1999
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