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Exhuming Q: market power capital market imperfections

  • Russell Cooper
  • Joao Ejarque
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    Evidence of the statistical significance of profits in Q regressions remains one of the principal findings in the empirical investment literature. This result is frequently taken to support the view that capital market imperfections are an important element for understanding investment. This paper challenges that conclusion. We argue that allowing the profit function at the firm level to be strictly concave, reflecting, for example, market power, is sufficient to replicate the Q theory based regression results in which profits are a significant factor determining investment. To be clear, our ability to replicate the existing results does not require the specification of any capital market imperfections. Thus the friction that explains the statistical significance of profits could be market power by sellers rather than capital market imperfections.

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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 611.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:611
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    1. Galeotti, Marzio & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1991. "Generalized Q Models for Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 383-92, August.
    2. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-81, September.
    3. Fumio Hayashi & Tohru Inoue, 1990. "The Relation Between Firm Growth and Q with Multiple Capital Goods: Theory and Evidence from Panel Data on Japanese Firms," NBER Working Papers 3326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cummins, Jason & Hassett, Kevin & Oliner, Stephen, 1997. "Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations and Internal Funds," Working Papers 97-30, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    5. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," NBER Working Papers 5260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jonathan L. Willis, 2000. "Estimation of adjustment costs in a model of state-dependent pricing," Research Working Paper RWP 00-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    7. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
    9. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
    10. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1999. "Investment: Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 223-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg, 1993. "Evidence on the role of cash flow for investment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-7, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. R. Glenn Hubbard & Anil K Kashyap & Toni M. Whited, 1993. "Internal Finance and Firm Investment," NBER Working Papers 4392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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