Journal Of The Econometric Society

An International Society for the Advancement of Economic
Theory in its Relation to Statistics and Mathematics

Edited by: Guido W. Imbens • Print ISSN: 0012-9682 • Online ISSN: 1468-0262

Econometrica: Sep, 2023, Volume 91, Issue 5

The Macro Impact of Short-Termism
p. 1881-1912

Stephen J. Terry

R&D investment reduces current profits, so short‐term pressure to hit profit targets may distort R&D. In the data, firms just meeting Wall Street forecasts have lower R&D growth and subsequent innovation, while managers just missing receive lower pay. But short‐termist distortions might not quantitatively matter if aggregation or equilibrium dampen their impact. So I build and estimate a quantitative endogenous growth model in which short‐termism arises naturally as discipline on conflicted managers and boosts firm value by about 1%. But short‐termism reduces R&D, and the social return to R&D is higher than the private return due to standard channels including knowledge spillovers and imperfect competition. So at the macro level, short‐termist distortions slow growth by 5 basis points yearly and lower social welfare by about 1%.

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Supplemental Material

Supplement to "The Macro Impact of Short-Termism"

Stephen J. Terry

This online appendix contains material not found within the manuscript.

Supplement to "The Macro Impact of Short-Termism"

Stephen J. Terry

This zip file contains the replication files for the manuscript.

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