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Title: The investment opportunity set and its proxy variables : theory and evidence
Authors: Adam, Tim R.
Goyal, Vidhan K.
Keywords: Proxy variables
Investment opportunity set
Growth opportunities
Real options
Market-to-book ratios
Mining industry
Issue Date: Feb-2003
Abstract: We use a real options approach to evaluate the performance of proxy variables for a firm's investment opportunity set. The results show that the market-to-book assets ratio is the best variable to proxy for investment opportunities. It has the highest information content with respect to investment opportunities and it is least affected by other factors. Although both the market-to-book equity and the earnings-price ratios are related to investment opportunities, they do not contain information that is not already contained in the market-to-book assets ratio. Consistent with this finding, a common factor constructed from several proxy variables does not improve the performance of the market-to-book assets ratio. Firm's capital expenditures appear to be a poor proxy for the investment opportunity set.
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