NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Expectations and Investment

Nicola Gennaioli, Yueran Ma, Andrei Shleifer

NBER Working Paper No. 21260
Issued in June 2015
NBER Program(s):   CF   EFG   ME

Using micro data from Duke University quarterly survey of Chief Financial Officers, we show that corporate investment plans as well as actual investment are well explained by CFOs’ expectations of earnings growth. The information in expectations data is not subsumed by traditional variables, such as Tobin’s Q or discount rates. We also show that errors in CFO expectations of earnings growth are predictable from past earnings and other data, pointing to extrapolative structure of expectations and suggesting that expectations may not be rational. This evidence, like earlier findings in finance, points to the usefulness of data on actual expectations for understanding economic behavior.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21260

Published: Expectations and Investment, Nicola Gennaioli, Yueran Ma, Andrei Shleifer. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2015, Volume 30, Eichenbaum and Parker. 2016

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