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Growth Versus Margins: Destabilizing Consequences of Giving the Stock Market What it Wants

  • Stein, Jeremy
  • Aghion, Philippe

We develop a model in which a firm can devote effort either to increasing sales growth, or to improving per-unit profit margins. If the firm's manager cares about the current stock price, she will favor the growth strategy when the market pays more attention to growth numbers. Conversely, it can be rational for the market to weight growth measures more heavily when it is known that the firm is following a growth strategy. This two-way feedback between firms' strategies and the market's pricing rule can lead to excess volatility in real variables, even absent any external shocks.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3660730.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Finance
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3660730
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  1. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Investor Sentiment and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 10449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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