Permanent sales increase and investment

Insun Yang, Peter Koveos, Tom Barkley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


When firms experience increases in sales that they consider to be permanent, the present value of expected profits also increases, leading to increases in the firms' investments. Our study investigates the permanent sales hypothesis (PSH) of firms' investment; it examines whether investment decisions are influenced by changes in the permanent, in contrast to transitory, component of sales income increases. Using the co-integration test and the structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) framework, our paper finds strong support for the hypothesis that investment behavior is primarily explained by permanent changes in sales income. Empirical multiple time series regression results also confirm that investments are a function of a number of past yearly sales changes. Our results show that larger, more liquid, and lower debt ratio firms follow PSH more closely than smaller, less liquid, higher debt ratio firms. Recent studies on corporate investment (i.e., Fazzari, Hubbard, and Petersen, 1988) have argued that the higher the dependence on the internal source of funding of the investment, the stronger the severity of financing constraints. Our study shows that the more dependent on the permanent cumulative increase of internal source of funding a firm's funding on investment, the less financially constrained firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-33
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Empirical Finance
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Firm investment
  • Permanent income
  • Sales change
  • Transitory income

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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