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Are US Companies Too Short-Term Oriented? Some Thoughts

Steven N. Kaplan

Chapter in NBER book Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 18 (2018), Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors (p. 107 - 124)
Conference held April 18, 2017
Published in January 2018 by University of Chicago Press
© 2018 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in NBER Book Series Innovation Policy and the Economy

US companies are often criticized for being overly short-term oriented. This paper documents that those criticisms have a long history, going back at least 35 years. The paper then considers the implications of sustained short-termism for corporate profits, venture capital investments and returns, private equity investments and returns, and corporate valuations. The paper finds little long-term evidence that is consistent with the predictions of the short-term critics.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1086/694409

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