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Comparing the Investment Behavior of Public and Private Firms

  • John Asker
  • Joan Farre-Mensa
  • Alexander Ljungqvist

We evaluate differences in investment behavior between stock market listed and privately held firms in the U.S. using a rich new data source on private firms. Listed firms invest less and are less responsive to changes in investment opportunities compared to observably similar, matched private firms, especially in industries in which stock prices are particularly sensitive to current earnings. These differences do not appear to be due to unobserved differences between public and private firms, how we measure investment opportunities, lifecycle differences, or our matching criteria. We suggest that the patterns we document are most consistent with theoretical models emphasizing the role of managerial myopia.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17394.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17394.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17394
Note: CF
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  1. Viral V. Acharya & Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2005. "Is Cash Negative Debt? A Hedging Perspective on Corporate Financial Policies," NBER Working Papers 11391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  3. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
  4. James S. Ang & Rebel A. Cole & James Wuh Lin, 2000. "Agency Costs and Ownership Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 81-106, 02.
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