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Underinvestment vs. overinvestment: Evidence from price reactions to pension contributions

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  • Franzoni, Francesco

Abstract

Mandatory contributions to defined benefit pension plans provide a unique identification strategy to estimate the market's assessment of the value of internal resources controlling for investment opportunities. The price decrease following a pension-induced drop in cash is magnified for firms that appear a priori more financially constrained, suggesting a negative effect of financing frictions on investment. In contrast, low control on managerial discretion attenuates the negative price reaction to contributions consistent with empire-building theories. While overinvestment seems to be the prevalent distortion in a panel of large firms, underinvestment appears to dominate in a sample that is more representative of the cross-section of listed companies.

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  • Franzoni, Francesco, 2009. "Underinvestment vs. overinvestment: Evidence from price reactions to pension contributions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 491-518, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:92:y:2009:i:3:p:491-518
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