Using detailed project-level data on hundreds of projects, this paper
investigates risk and returns of projects by public and private firms in the
movie industry. If the investments of private firms are adversely affected
by their limited access to external equity markets, the returns of projects
by public firms would be more favorable than those for similar projects by
private firms. Alternatively, the converse would hold if public firms are
plagued by inefficiencies that arise due to agency problems. The findings
of the current study are consistent with theories in which public firms
beset with agency problems engage in distorted investment behavior.
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