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Governance, Strategy, and Investment: Evidence from Hurdle Rates


  • Driver, Ciaran

    (Imperial College)

  • Paul Temple


This paper uses direct evidence from reported hurdle rates and discount rates to assess theories of corporate investment appraisal. We find first that hurdle rates are frequently below discount rates, suggesting strategic or managerial behaviour. To test this we use probit analysis to discriminate between this group and an alternative group, where hurdle rates are higher than discount rates. We find that variables representing the opportunity for managerial or strategic investment (e.g. free cash flow) or the motivation (e.g. low growth) increase the probability of firms having hurdle rates below discount rates. In a second stage of the analysis we analyse the relationship between hurdle rates and discount rates for both sets of firms separately. For example, we find that for the strategist firms, product R&D tends to be associated with a lower hurdle rate relative to the discount rate, while for the profit maximising group of firms, the opposite is the case. For the second sample, we also find that risk variables raise the hurdle and that there is some evidence for an irreversibility effect. Responses of the hurdle rate to entry also differ between the two groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Driver, Ciaran & Paul Temple, 2003. "Governance, Strategy, and Investment: Evidence from Hurdle Rates," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 67, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:67

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    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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