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Rational Capital Budgeting in an Irrational World

  • Stein, Jeremy C.

This article addresses the following basic capital budgeting problem: suppose that cross-sectional differences in stock returns can be predicted based on variables other than P(e.g., book-to-market) and that this predictability reflects market irrationality rather than compensation for fundamental risk. In this setting, how should companies determine hurdle rates? I show how factors such as managerial time horizons and financial constraints affect the optimal hurdle rate. Under some circumstances, beta can be useful as a capital tool, even budgeting if it is of no use in predicting stock returns.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3708373.

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Date of creation: 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Business -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3708373
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  1. Chan, Louis K C & Hamao, Yasushi & Lakonishok, Josef, 1991. " Fundamentals and Stock Returns in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1739-64, December.
  2. Basu, S, 1977. "Investment Performance of Common Stocks in Relation to Their Price-Earnings Ratios: A Test of the Efficient Market Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 663-82, June.
  3. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  4. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Repeated Auctions of Incentive Contracts, Investment, and Bidding Parity with an Application to Takeovers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 516-537, Winter.
  5. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Davis, James L, 1994. " The Cross-Section of Realized Stock Returns: The Pre-COMPUSTAT Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1579-93, December.
  7. Barry Bosworth, 1975. "The Stock Market and the Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(2), pages 527-300.
  8. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  9. David Ikenberry & Josef Lakonishok & Theo Vermaelen, 1994. "Market Underreaction to Open Market Share Repurchases," NBER Working Papers 4965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Takeover Threats and Managerial Myopia," Scholarly Articles 3708937, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1989. "The Size and Incidence of the Losses from Noise Trading," NBER Working Papers 2875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Stanley Fischer & Robert C. Merton, 1984. "Macroeconomics and Finance: The Role of the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 1291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jeremy C. Stein, 1989. "Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 655-669.
  14. Keim, Donald B., 1983. "Size-related anomalies and stock return seasonality : Further empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 13-32, June.
  15. Spiess, D. Katherine & Affleck-Graves, John, 1995. "Underperformance in long-run stock returns following seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 243-267, July.
  16. Olivier Blanchard & Changyong Rhee & Lawrence Summers, 1993. "The Stock Market, Profit, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 115-136.
  17. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  18. Jaffe, Jeffrey & Keim, Donald B & Westerfield, Randolph, 1989. " Earnings Yields, Market Values, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 135-48, March.
  19. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. " Good News for Value Stocks: Further Evidence on Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 859-74, June.
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