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Does the Investment Opportunities Bias Affect the Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities of Unlisted SMEs?


  • Bert D’Espallier
  • Alessandra Guariglia


Using a panel of 5,999 small and medium-sized Belgian enterprises (SMEs) over the period 2002-2008, we identify three measures of investment opportunities suitable for unlisted firms. We then estimate firm-varying investment-cash flow sensitivities (ICFS) from reduced-form investment equations that include these measures, and compare them with those derived from a model that does not control for investment opportunities. We find that all our models yield similar ICFS estimates, which are significantly related to a wide set of proxies for financing constraints. These findings suggest that the ICFS of SMEs do not simply reflect investment opportunities. The investment opportunities bias may therefore have been overstated in previous literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Bert D’Espallier & Alessandra Guariglia, "undated". "Does the Investment Opportunities Bias Affect the Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities of Unlisted SMEs?," Discussion Papers 09/12, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcfc:09/12

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertoni, Fabio & Croce, Annalisa & Guerini, Massimiliano, 2015. "Venture capital and the investment curve of young high-tech companies," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 159-176.
    2. Milos Markovic & Michael A. Stemmer, 2017. "Firm Growth Dynamics and Financial Constraints: Evidence from Serbian Firms," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17012, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.


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