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Measurement Errors in Investment Equations

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  • Heitor Almeida
  • Murillo Campello
  • Antonio F. Galvao Jr.

Abstract

We use Monte Carlo simulations and real data to assess the performance of alternative methods that deal with measurement error in investment equations. Our experiments show that individual-fixed effects, error heteroscedasticity, and data skewness severely affect the performance and reliability of methods found in the literature. In particular, estimators that use higher-order moments are shown to return biased coefficients for (both) mismeasured and perfectly-measured regressors. These estimators are also very inefficient. Instrumental variables-type estimators are more robust and efficient, although they require fairly restrictive assumptions. We estimate empirical investment models using alternative methods. Real-world investment data contain firm-fixed effects and heteroscedasticity, causing high-order moments estimators to deliver coefficients that are unstable across different specifications and not economically meaningful. Instrumental variables methods yield estimates that are robust and seem to conform to theoretical priors. Our analysis provides guidance for dealing with the problem of measurement error under circumstances empirical researchers are likely to find in practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15951.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Publication status: published as Measurement Errors in Investment Equations (with H. Almeida and A. Galvao), Review of Financial Studies, 2010 (23), 3279-3328. [Lead article.]
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15951

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  1. Charles J. Hadlock, 1998. "Ownership, Liquidity, and Investment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 487-508, Autumn.
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Cited by:
  1. Jacob, Marcus & Jacob, Martin, 2013. "Taxation and the cash flow sensitivity of dividends," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 186-188.
  2. Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2012. "Treating Measurement Error in Tobin's q," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 1286-1329.
  3. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2006. "Corporate Financial and Investment Policies when Future Financing is not Frictionless," NBER Working Papers 12773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bo Becker & Marcus Jacob & Martin Jacob, 2011. "Payout Taxes and the Allocation of Investment," NBER Working Papers 17481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Behr, Patrick & Norden, Lars & Noth, Felix, 2013. "Financial constraints of private firms and bank lending behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3472-3485.
  6. Brown, James R. & Martinsson, Gustav & Petersen, Bruce C., 2012. "Do financing constraints matter for R&D?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1512-1529.
  7. Badertscher, Brad & Shroff, Nemit & White, Hal D., 2013. "Externalities of public firm presence: Evidence from private firms' investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 682-706.
  8. Asker, John & Farre-Mensa, Joan & Ljungqvist, Alexander P., 2010. "Does the Stock Market Harm Investment Incentives?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Brown, James R. & Floros, Ioannis V., 2012. "Access to private equity and real firm activity: Evidence from PIPEs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 151-165.
  10. Firth, Michael & Malatesta, Paul H. & Xin, Qingquan & Xu, Liping, 2012. "Corporate investment, government control, and financing channels: Evidence from China's Listed Companies," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 433-450.
  11. Galvao, Antonio F. & Montes-Rojas, Gabriel & Sosa-Escudero, Walter & Wang, Liang, 2013. "Tests for skewness and kurtosis in the one-way error component model," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 35-52.

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