Investment, Tobin's Q, and Interest Rates

51 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2013

See all articles by Chong Wang

Chong Wang

Naval Postgraduate School - Graduate School of Business and Public Policy

Neng Wang

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jinqiang Yang

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Jinqiang Yang

Columbia University; Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Date Written: August 2013

Abstract

We study the impact of stochastic interest rates and capital illiquidity on investment and firm value by incorporating a widely used arbitrage-free term structure model of interest rates into a standard q theoretic framework. Our generalized q model informs us to use corporate credit-risk information to predict investments when empirical measurement issues of Tobin’s average q are significant (e.g., equity is much more likely to be mis-priced than debt), as in Philippon (2009). We find, consistent with our theory, that credit spreads and bond q have significant predictive powers on micro-level and aggregate investments corroborating the recent empirical work of Gilchrist and Zakrajšek (2012). We also show that the quantitative effects of the stochastic interest rates and capital illiquidity on investment, Tobin’s average q, the duration and user cost of capital, and the value of growth opportunities are substantial. These findings are particularly important in today’s low interest rate environment.

Suggested Citation

Wang, Chong and Wang, Neng and Yang, Jinqiang and Yang, Jinqiang, Investment, Tobin's Q, and Interest Rates (August 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19327. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311576

Chong Wang (Contact Author)

Naval Postgraduate School - Graduate School of Business and Public Policy ( email )

555 Dyer Road
Monterey, CA 93943
United States

Neng Wang

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jinqiang Yang

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )

777 Guoding Road
Shanghai, AK Shanghai 200433
China

Jinqiang Yang

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )

Law School, 777 Guoding Road, Yangpu District
Shanghai, AK 200433
China

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