Capital Allocation by Private and Public Firms
90 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2009 Last revised: 1 Dec 2011
Date Written: November 2, 2011
We compare investment policies across public and private firms in different institutional settings. Using a large cross-country dataset, we find that public listed firms are better positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities than private firms. Specifically, public listed firms exhibit higher investment sensitivity to growth opportunities than private firms. This differential, however, only exists in countries with well-developed stock markets. Further, the relative advantage public firms have at allocating capital depends on the degree of agency costs and reliance on external equity.
Keywords: Capital allocation, Stock market development, Corporate investment, Economic growth, Listed vs. unlisted, Public vs. private
JEL Classification: G15, G31, D92
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation