NBER Working Papers by Holger Kraft

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Working Papers

February 2013Growth Options and Firm Valuation
with Eduardo S. Schwartz, Farina Weiss: w18836
This paper studies the relation between firm value and a firm's growth options. We find strong empirical evidence that (average) Tobin's Q increases with firm-level volatility. However, the significance mainly comes from R&D firms, which have more growth options than non-R&D firms. By decomposing firm-level volatility into its systematic and unsystematic part, we also document that only idiosyncratic volatility (ivol) has a significant effect on valuation. Second, we analyze the relation of stock returns to realized contemporaneous idiosyncratic volatility and R&D expenses. Single sorting according to the size of idiosyncratic volatility, we only find a significant ivol anomaly for non-R&D portfolios, whereas in a four-factor model the portfolio alphas of R&D portfolios are all positive. D...
March 2010Cash Flow Multipliers and Optimal Investment Decisions
with Eduardo S. Schwartz: w15807
By postulating a simple stochastic process for the firm's cash flows in which the drift and the variance of the process depend on the investment policy of the firm, we develop a theoretical model, determine the optimal investment policy and, given this policy, calculate the ratio of the current value of the firm and the current cash flow which we call the "cash flow multiplier''. The main contribution of the paper, however, is empirical. Using a very extensive data set comprised of more than 13,000 fims over 44 years we examine the determinants of the cash flow multiplier using as explanatory variables macro and firm specific variables suggested by the theoretical model. We find strong support for the variables suggested by the model. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the paper is th...

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