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Marginal q, Tobin’s q, Cash Flow, and Investment

Author

Listed:
  • Klaus Gugler

    () (University of Vienna, Department of Economics)

  • Dennis C. Mueller

    () (University of Vienna, Department of Economics)

  • B. Burcin Yurtoglu

    () (University of Vienna, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Many studies of the determinants of investment use Tobin’s q to control for the investment opportunities of a firm. Tobin’s q roughly measures the average return on a firm’s capital anticipated by the market. More relevant for investment decisions, however, is the marginal return on capital. In this paper we estimate investment and research and development (R&D) equations using a measure of marginal q. We use marginal q to identify the existence of cash constraints and managerial discretion and as a separate explanatory variable. For a sample of 560 U.S. firms observed over the 1977–1996 period we present evidence confirming the existence of both cash constraints in some companies and managerial discretion in others.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Gugler & Dennis C. Mueller & B. Burcin Yurtoglu, 2004. "Marginal q, Tobin’s q, Cash Flow, and Investment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 512-531, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:70:3:y:2004:p:512-531
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bjuggren, Per-Olof & Wiberg, Daniel, 2005. "Industry Specific Effects in Investment Performance and Valuation of Firms - Marginal q in a Stock Market Bubble," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 45, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Johanna Palmberg, 2015. "The performance effect of corporate board of directors," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 273-292, October.
    3. Lin, Tyrone T. & Huang, Shio-Ling, 2011. "Application of the modified Tobin's q to an uncertain energy-saving project with the real options concept," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 408-420, January.
    4. Connelly, J. Thomas, 2016. "Investment policy at family firms: Evidence from Thailand," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 91-122.
    5. Gugler, Klaus & Mueller, Dennis C. & Weichselbaumer, Michael, 2012. "The determinants of merger waves: An international perspective," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-15.
    6. Klaus Gugler, 2003. "Corporate governance and investment," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 261-289.
    7. Johan Eklund & Johanna Palmberg & Daniel Wiberg, 2013. "Inherited corporate control and returns on investment," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 419-431, August.
    8. repec:eee:joecas:v:11:y:2014:i:c:p:19-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Schoder, Christian, 2013. "Credit vs. demand constraints: The determinants of US firm-level investment over the business cycles from 1977 to 2011," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 1-27.
    10. Madsen, Jakob B. & Carrington, Sarah J., 2012. "Credit cycles and corporate investment: Direct tests using survey data on banks’ lending practices," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 429-440.
    11. Klaus Gugler & Dennis C. Mueller & B. Burçin Yurtoglu, 2006. "The Determinants of Merger Waves," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-01, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).

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