Marginal Q, Tobin’s Q, Cash Fow and Investment

49 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012 Last revised: 6 Jan 2017

See all articles by Klaus Peter Gugler

Klaus Peter Gugler

Vienna University of Economics and Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Dennis C. Mueller

University of Vienna - Center for Business Studies - Department of Economics

B. Burcin Yurtoglu

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

Many studies of the determinants of investment use Tobin's q to control for the investment opportunities of a firm. Tobin’s q roughly measures the average return on a firm’s capital anticipated by the market. More relevant for investment decisions, however, is the marginal return on capital. In this paper we estimate investment and R&D equations using a measure of marginal q. We use marginal q to identify the existence of cash constraints and managerial discretion, and as a separate explanatory variable. For a sample of 562 U.S. firms observed over the 1977-1996 period we present evidence confirming the existence of both cash constraints in some companies and managerial discretion in others.

Keywords: Investment, Cash Flow, Tobin’s q, Marginal q, Asymmetric Information, Managerial Discretion

JEL Classification: G34, L21

Suggested Citation

Gugler, Klaus and Mueller, Dennis C. and Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, Marginal Q, Tobin’s Q, Cash Fow and Investment (2003). Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2061284

Klaus Gugler

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.wu.ac.at/iqv/mitarbeiter/gugler

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Dennis C. Mueller

University of Vienna - Center for Business Studies - Department of Economics ( email )

BWZ - Brünner Str.
A-1010 Vienna
Austria
+43 1 4277 37484 (Phone)
+43 1 4277 37498 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mailbox.univie.ac.at/~muelled2/

B. Burcin Yurtoglu (Contact Author)

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Chair of Corporate Finance
Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany
+49 261 6509-721 (Phone)
+49 261 6509-729 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.whu.edu/forschung/fakultaet/finance-group/corporate-finance/

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