NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey

Malcolm Baker, Richard S. Ruback, Jeffrey Wurgler

NBER Working Paper No. 10863
Issued in November 2004
NBER Program(s):   CF

Research in behavioral corporate finance takes two distinct approaches. The first emphasizes that investors are less than fully rational. It views managerial financing and investment decisions as rational responses to securities market mispricing. The second approach emphasizes that managers are less than fully rational. It studies the effect of nonstandard preferences and judgmental biases on managerial decisions. This survey reviews the theory, empirical challenges, and current evidence pertaining to each approach. Overall, the behavioral approaches help to explain a number of important financing and investment patterns. The survey closes with a list of open questions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10863

Published: Eckbo, Espen (ed.) Handbook in Corporate Finance: Empirical Corporate Finance. North Holland: Elsevier, 2007.

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