Limits-to-arbitrage, Investment Frictions, and the Investment Effect: New Evidence

European Financial Management 26 (2020) 3-43

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 Last revised: 5 Mar 2020

See all articles by FY Eric Lam

FY Eric Lam

Hong Kong Monetary Authority - Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research (HKIMR)

Ya LI

The Open University of Hong Kong

Wikrom Prombutr

California State University, Long Beach

K.C. John Wei

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 8, 2019

Abstract

This study comprehensively reexamines the debate over behavioral and rational explanations for the investment effect in an updated sample. We closely follow the previous literature and provide several differences. All our tests include five prominent measures of corporate investment and corporate profitability either as a standard control or as a structural variable in q-theory and recent investment-based asset pricing models. We test simple composite indices of limits-to-arbitrage or investment frictions. The competing explanations are compared by controlling the frictions indices against each other in regressions and by analyzing the effect of orthogonalized frictions indices. Both classical and Bayesian inferences show that limits-to-arbitrage tend to be supported by more evidence than investment frictions for all investment measures. Investment frictions are clearly important for investment-to-assets. Various robustness checks regarding model specifications and index definitions are performed. The relative importance of the two hypotheses depends on the variables used in constructing the indices. When idiosyncratic volatility and cash flow volatility are used in measuring investment frictions, the inference is more favorable for the rational explanation.

Keywords: Limits-to-arbitrage; Investment frictions; q-theory; Investment; Stock returns

JEL Classification: G14, G31, G32, M41, M42

Suggested Citation

Lam, Full Yet Eric Campbell and LI, Ya and Prombutr, Wikrom and Wei, Kuo-Chiang (John), Limits-to-arbitrage, Investment Frictions, and the Investment Effect: New Evidence (March 8, 2019). European Financial Management 26 (2020) 3-43, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2746793 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2746793

Full Yet Eric Campbell Lam (Contact Author)

Hong Kong Monetary Authority - Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research (HKIMR) ( email )

55/F, Two International Finance Centre,
8 Finance Street, Central
Hong Kong
China

Ya LI

The Open University of Hong Kong ( email )

30 Good Shepherd Street, Ho Man Tin
Hong Kong

Wikrom Prombutr

California State University, Long Beach ( email )

1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90064
United States

Kuo-Chiang (John) Wei

Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( email )

11 Yuk Choi Rd
Hung Hom
Hong Kong

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