Disentangling Investment Returns and Stock Returns: The Importance of Time-to-Build
43 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2007 Last revised: 21 Oct 2009
Date Written: March 5, 2009
I provide new evidence on the failure of the Q-theory. The Q-theory implies the state-by-state equivalence of stock and investment returns -- a important implication of many asset pricing models. Using aggregate US data, I find there exists a realistic parameterization of the aggregate production and adjustment cost function such that empirical investment returns have first and second moments similar to historical US stock returns. Investment and stock returns are negatively correlated, however, contradicting the Q-theory. This paper also proposes a rational explanation for this finding. A general equilibrium model with production, in which investment projects involve time-to-build, can rationalize these findings. The model is also able to explain the negative correlation of investment growth and stock returns at the aggregate level -- an observation that has been interpreted as evidence for irrational markets since it cannot be reconciled with the Q-theory of investment.
Keywords: Real investments, time-to-build, excess returns, investment returns
JEL Classification: E32, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation