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Rational Capital Budgeting in an Irrational World

  • Stein, Jeremy C

This article addresses the following basic capital budgeting problem: suppose that cross-sectional differences in stock returns can be predicted based on variables other than beta (e.g., book-to-market) and that this predictability reflects market irrationality rather than compensation for fundamental risk. In this setting, how should companies determine hurdle rates? The author shows how factors such as managerial time horizons and financial constraints affect the optimal hurdle rate. Under some circumstances, beta can be useful as a capital budgeting tool, even if it is of no use in predicting stock returns. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Business.

Volume (Year): 69 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 429-55

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:69:y:1996:i:4:p:429-55
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JB/

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  1. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 655-69, November.
  2. Basu, S, 1977. "Investment Performance of Common Stocks in Relation to Their Price-Earnings Ratios: A Test of the Efficient Market Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 663-82, June.
  3. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fischer, Stanley & Merton, Robert C., 1984. "Macroeconomics and finance: The role of the stock market," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 57-108, January.
  5. David Ikenberry & Josef Lakonishok & Theo Vermaelen, 1994. "Market Underreaction to Open Market Share Repurchases," NBER Working Papers 4965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Repeated Auctions of Incentive Contracts, Investment, and Bidding Parity with an Application to Takeovers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 516-537, Winter.
  7. Stein, Jeremy C, 1988. "Takeover Threats and Managerial Myopia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 61-80, February.
  8. Blanchard, O. & Rhee, C. & Summers, L., 1990. "The Stock Market, Profit And Investment," RCER Working Papers 233, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1989. "The Size and Incidence of the Losses from Noise Trading," NBER Working Papers 2875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Spiess, D. Katherine & Affleck-Graves, John, 1995. "Underperformance in long-run stock returns following seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 243-267, July.
  11. Keim, Donald B., 1983. "Size-related anomalies and stock return seasonality : Further empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 13-32, June.
  12. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  13. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. " Good News for Value Stocks: Further Evidence on Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 859-74, June.
  14. Barry Bosworth, 1975. "The Stock Market and the Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(2), pages 527-300.
  15. Jaffe, Jeffrey & Keim, Donald B & Westerfield, Randolph, 1989. " Earnings Yields, Market Values, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 135-48, March.
  16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  17. Davis, James L, 1994. " The Cross-Section of Realized Stock Returns: The Pre-COMPUSTAT Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1579-93, December.
  18. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  19. Chan, Louis K C & Hamao, Yasushi & Lakonishok, Josef, 1991. " Fundamentals and Stock Returns in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1739-64, December.
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