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Does Costly Reversibility Matter for U.S. Public Firms?

Author

Listed:
  • Hang Bai
  • Erica X.N. Li
  • Chen Xue
  • Lu Zhang

Abstract

Yes, most likely. The firm-level evidence on costly reversibility is even stronger than the prior evidence at the plant level. The firm-level investment rate distribution is highly skewed to the right, with a small fraction of negative investments, 5.79%, a tiny fraction of inactive investments, 1.46%, and a large fraction of positive investments, 92.75%. When estimated via simulated method of moments, the standard investment model explains the average value premium, while simultaneously matching the key properties of the investment rate distribution, including the cross-sectional volatility, skewness, and the fraction of negative investments. The combined effect of costly reversibility and operating leverage is the key driving force behind the model’s quantitative performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Hang Bai & Erica X.N. Li & Chen Xue & Lu Zhang, 2019. "Does Costly Reversibility Matter for U.S. Public Firms?," NBER Working Papers 26372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26372
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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