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Investment behavior, observable expectations, and internal funds

  • Jason G. Cummins
  • Kevin A. Hassett
  • Stephen D. Oliner

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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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1999-27.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-27
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