Cash Flow And Product Market Competition: An Empirical Analysis

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Executive Summary

Using a tax-induced negative shock to expected cash flows in the tobacco industry as a natural experiment, the author finds significant positive returns to rivals who compete with non-tobacco segments in tobacco firms and a significant change in output behavior of those non-tobacco segments after the shock. This suggests that a firm's cash flow has an important effect on its competitive outcomes in the product market. The effects are robust to a number of estimation issues and identification choices. Since the shock is exogenous to the investment opportunities of non-tobacco industries, his evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a causal relation between a firm's cash flow and its product market behavior.

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