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On the Accuracy of Different Measures of "q"

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  • Timothy Erickson
  • Toni M. Whited

Abstract

Tobin's q is widely accepted as a proxy for an underlying "true" q, which is assumed to characterize a firm's incentive to invest. Researchers have developed numerous methods for computing q. This article assesses the measurement quality of different proxies for q. We adapt the measurement-error consistent estimators in Erickson and Whited (2002) to estimate the extent to which variation in true unobservable q explains variation in different proxies for q. We find most proxies for q are poor: careful algorithms for calculating q do little to improve measurement quality. Using elaborate algorithms, however, depletes the number of usable observations and possibly introduces sample selection bias. Copyright (c) 2006 Financial Management Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Financial Management Association International in its journal Financial Management.

Volume (Year): 35 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 5-33

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Handle: RePEc:bla:finmgt:v:35:y:2006:i:3:p:5-33

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Cited by:
  1. Missaka Warusawitharana, 2007. "Corporate asset purchases and sales: theory and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Thomas Hazlett & Dennis Weisman, 2011. "Market Power in US Broadband Services," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 151-171, March.
  3. Shyam Kumar, M.V., 2007. "Asymmetric wealth gains in joint ventures: Theory and evidence," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 19-27, March.
  4. Jacquier, Eric & Titman, Sheridan & YalçIn, Atakan, 2010. "Predicting systematic risk: Implications from growth options," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 991-1005, December.
  5. Warusawitharana, Missaka, 2008. "Corporate asset purchases and sales: Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 471-497, February.
  6. George, Rejie & Kabir, Rezaul & Qian, Jing, 2011. "Investment-cash flow sensitivity and financing constraints: New evidence from Indian business group firms," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 69-88, April.
  7. Casey, Eddie & O'Toole, Conor, 2013. "Bank-lending constraints and alternative financing during the financial crisis: Evidence from European SMEs," Papers WP450, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  8. Gallegati, Marco & Ramsey, James B., 2013. "Bond vs stock market's Q: Testing for stability across frequencies and over time," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 138-150.
  9. Masulis, Ronald W. & Wang, Cong & Xie, Fei, 2012. "Globalizing the boardroom—The effects of foreign directors on corporate governance and firm performance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 527-554.
  10. Mykhayliv, Dariya & Zauner, Klaus G., 2013. "Investment behavior and ownership structures in Ukraine: Soft budget constraints, government ownership and private benefits of control," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 265-278.

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