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We examine the impact of firm-level political risk on the cash flow sensitivity of cash. Using a large sample of U.S. firms from 2003 to 2018, we find that the cash flow sensitivity of cash decreases in political uncertainty and the impact of political risk is asymmetric to cash flow types (positive versus negative). Intensified political uncertainty induces positive/negative cash flow firms to reduce savings out of cash flows to finance investment opportunities/terminate unprofitable projects to retrieve cash. The results are robust to various model specifications, alternative variable definitions, and the control for non-political risks. In addition, we show that a firm’s financial status moderates the relation between the two, with financially constrained positive/negative cash flow firms saving more out of cash flows/decreasing existing savings as firm-level political risk increases.

This article was published Open Access through the CCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund. The article was first published in The Quarterly Journal of Finance:

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