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Investment, Tobin's Q, and Multiple Capital Inputs

  • Robert S. Chirinko

Despite their solid theoretical basis, models of business investment based on Tobin's Q theory have recorded a generally disappointing empirical performance. This paper examines one possible source of misspecification. When the firm's technology is expanded to include two or more capital inputs, the investment equation following from maximizing behavior includes Q as well as a series of additional explanatory variables. The importance of these omitted variables is assessed, and the econometric evidence is mixed, as the Multi-Capital Q model clearly dominates the Conventional specification but empirical problems remain. In addition, the implications of the parameter estimates from the Conventional and Multi-Capital models for tax policy are noted.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2033.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2033.

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Date of creation: Oct 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as "Multiple Capital Inputs, Q, and Investment Spending", JEDC, Vol. 17, no. 5/6 (1993): 907-928.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2033
Note: EFG
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  1. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
  2. Mussa, Michael L, 1977. "External and Internal Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Aggregate and Firm Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(174), pages 163-78, May.
  3. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  4. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Dividend Taxes, Corporate Investment, and "Q"," NBER Working Papers 0829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Seater, John J., 1982. "Marginal federal personal and corporate income tax rates in the U.S., 1909-1975," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 361-381.
  6. Nerlove, Marc, 1972. "Lags in Economic Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 221-51, March.
  7. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
  9. Wu, De-Min, 1973. "Alternative Tests of Independence Between Stochastic Regressors and Disturbances," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 733-50, July.
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