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Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations and Internal Funds

  • Cummins, Jason
  • Hassett, Kevin
  • Oliner, Stephen

We use earnings forecasts from securities analysts to construct more accurate measures of the fundamentals that affect the expected returns to investment. We find that investment responds significantly -- in both economic and statistical terms -- to our new measures of fundamentals. Our estimates imply that the elasticity of the investment-capital ratio with respect to a change in fundamentals is generally greater than unity. In addition, we find that internal funds are uncorrelated with investment spending, even for selected subsamples of firms -- those paying no dividends and those without bond ratings -- that have been found to be "liquidity constrained" in previous studies. Our results cast doubt on the evidence for liquidity constraints from the many studies that have used Tobin's Q to control for the expected returns to investment.

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File URL: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/9382/RR97-30.PDF
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Paper provided by C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University in its series Working Papers with number 97-30.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:97-30
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C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012

Phone: (212) 998-8936
Fax: (212) 995-3932
Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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