1 Department of Business Studies, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Finance Research Group, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 unknown5 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
This paper examines the effect of debt and liquidity on corporate investment in a continuous-time dynamic framework. We show that due to stockholder-bondholder agency conflicts, investment thresholds are U-shaped in leverage and decreasing in liquidity. While the underinvestment problem dominates for low-liquidity firms, there is overinvestment for high-liquidity firms. In the absence of tax effects, we derive the optimal level of liquid funds that eliminates agency costs by implementing the first-best investment policy for some given capital structure. In a second step we generalize the framework by introducing a tax advantage of debt, and we show that an interior solution for liquidity and capital structure optimally trades off tax benefits and agency costs of debt.