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Stock Market Efficiency and Economic Efficiency: Is There a Connection?

  • James Dow
  • Gary Gorton

In a capitalist economy prices serve to equilibrate supply and demand for goods and services, continually changing to reallocate resources to their most efficient uses. However, secondary stock market prices, often viewed as the most "informationally efficient" prices in the economy, have no direct role in the allocation of equity capital since mangers have discretion in determining the level of investment. What is the link between stock price informational efficiency and economic efficiency? We present a model of the stock market in which: (i) managers have discretion in making investments and must be given the right incentives; and (ii) stock market traders may have important information that managers do not have about the value of prospective investment opportunities. In equilibrium, information in stock prices will guide investment decisions because managers will be compensated based on informative stock prices in the future. The stock market indirectly guides investment by transferring two kinds of information: information about investment opportunities and information about managers’ past decisions. The fact that stock prices only have an indirect role suggests that the stock market may not be a necessary institution for the efficient allocation of equity. We emphasize this by providing an example of a banking system that performs as well.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research in its series Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers with number 16-95.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:pennfi:16-95
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  1. Dow James & Gorton Gary, 1995. "Profitable Informed Trading in a Simple General Equilibrium Model of Asset Pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 327-369, December.
  2. Robert A. Korajczyk & Deborah J. Lucas & Robert L. McDonald, 1989. "Understanding Stock Price Behavior around the Time of Equity Issues," NBER Working Papers 3170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. James Dow & Gary Gorton, . "Arbitrage Chains," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 6-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  5. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
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  8. James Dow & Gary Gorton, 1994. "Noise Trading, Delegated Portfolio Management, and Economic Welfare," NBER Working Papers 4858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
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  14. Biais, Bruno & Hillion, Pierre, 1994. "Insider and Liquidity Trading in Stock and Options Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(4), pages 743-80.
  15. Ivo Welch & David Wessels, 2000. "The Cross-Sectional Determinants Of Corporate Capital Expenditures: A Multinational Comparison," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 52(2), pages 103-136, April.
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