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Do Public Firms Invest Differently than Private Firms? Taking Cues from the Natural Gas Industry

Erik Gilje

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Jérôme Taillard

Babson College

September 11, 2015

Journal of Finance, Forthcoming

We study how listing status affects investment behavior. Theory offers competing hypotheses on how listing-related frictions affect investment decisions. We use detailed data on 74,670 individual projects in the U.S. natural gas industry to show that private firms respond less than public firms to changes in investment opportunities. Private firms adjust drilling activity for low capital-intensity investments. However, they do not increase drilling in response to new capital-intensive growth opportunities. Instead, they sell these projects to public firms. Our evidence suggests that differences in access to external capital are important for explaining the investment behavior of public and private firms.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 67

Keywords: Corporate investment, exogenous shock, private, public, natural gas, external capital

JEL Classification: D21, G31, G32

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Date posted: March 31, 2012 ; Last revised: October 30, 2015

Suggested Citation

Gilje, Erik and Taillard, Jérôme, Do Public Firms Invest Differently than Private Firms? Taking Cues from the Natural Gas Industry (September 11, 2015). Journal of Finance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2031614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2031614

Contact Information

Erik Gilje (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )
3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
Jérôme Taillard
Babson College ( email )
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States
781-239-6451 (Phone)
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