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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2006. "On the Accuracy of Different Measures of "q"," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 5-33, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:finmgt:v:35:y:2006:i:3:p:5-33
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph P. Ogden & Shanhong Wu, 2015. "Corporate Investment: Empirical Evidence for Alternative Propensities," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 5, pages 1-21, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Min Maung & Reza H. Chowdhury, 2014. "Is there a right time for corporate investment?," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 223-243, May.
    4. Thomas Hazlett & Dennis Weisman, 2011. "Market Power in US Broadband Services," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 38(2), pages 151-171, March.
    5. repec:eee:ijoais:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:99-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dariya Mykhayliv & Klaus G. Zauner, 2015. "Investment Behaviour, Corporate Control, And Private Benefits Of Control: Evidence From A Survey Of Ukrainian Firms," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 309-323, October.
    7. Alexander Nezlobin & Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2016. "Structural properties of the price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 438-472, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Gallegati, Marco & Ramsey, James B., 2014. "The forward looking information content of equity and bond markets for aggregate investments," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-24.
    10. 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.
    11. Agliardi, Elettra & Amel-Zadeh, Amir & Koussis, Nicos, 2016. "Leverage changes and growth options in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 37-58.
    12. Warusawitharana, Missaka, 2008. "Corporate asset purchases and sales: Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 471-497, February.
    13. Peters, Ryan H. & Taylor, Lucian A., 2017. "Intangible capital and the investment-q relation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 251-272.
    14. 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.
    15. 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).
    16. 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.).
    17. 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.
    18. K. S. Manikandan & J. Ramachandran, 2015. "Beyond institutional voids: Business groups, incomplete markets, and organizational form," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 598-617, April.
    19. 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.
    20. Kim, Huong Trang & Papanastassiou, Marina & Nguyen, Quang, 2017. "Multinationals and the impact of corruption on financial derivatives use and firm value: Evidence from East Asia," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 39-59.
    21. Casalin, Fabrizio & Dia, Enzo, 2014. "Adjustment costs, financial frictions and aggregate investment," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 60-79.

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