Are firms with more intangible assets credit constrained?

  • Afonso Matias (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Increasingly more firms have come to rely mainly on intangible capital for some decades now, and, as technology still continues to develop, all signs point to this trend persisting in the foreseeable future. However, pledging intangible capital as collateral for loans is not a common practice, which makes it harder for them to get access to credit as they have scarce physical collateral to pledge. While some authors argue that these firms are able to self-finance themselves, others do not, and so there is still an ongoing debate about whether or not companies with considerable amounts of non-physical assets are credit constrained. This thesis aims to address this question specifically for companies within the European Union, a subject that has not been extensively studied before. By concluding that corporations in the EU with more intangible assets (in relative terms) are statistically associated to having lower cash holdings and to being more prone to financial constraints, this dissertation supports the view that these firms lack credit. Additionally, I also found that these corporations make higher investments while not rewarding their employees more with stock options, further increasing their need for cash.
Date of Award24 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorDiana Bonfim (Supervisor)


  • Intangible capital
  • Credit scarcity
  • European Union
  • Leverage
  • Cash holdings
  • Investment
  • Employee stock options
  • Payouts
  • Financial constraints


  • Mestrado em Finanças

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