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An Analytic Framework For Interpreting Investment Regressions In The Presence Of Financial Constraints

Andrew B. Abel, Stavros Panageas

NBER Working Paper No. 26898
Issued in March 2020
NBER Program(s):Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

A financial constraint that prevents access to external funds induces non-classical measurement error in average q as a proxy for unobservable marginal q. Unlike classical measurement error, this measurement error biases upward the coefficient on average q in a univariate regression of investment on average q. In a multiple regression of investment on average q and cash flow, the coefficient on cash flow is positive. The positive cash-flow coefficient indicates the presence of a financial constraint, but it does not indicate a shortage of liquidity to fund current investment. In addition, the coefficient on average q is biased downward.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26898

 
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