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Are US Companies Too Short-term Oriented? Some Thoughts

Executive Summary

US companies are often criticized for being overly short-term oriented. This paper from Professor Steven N. Kaplan documents that those criticisms have a long history, going back at least thirty-five years. The paper then considers the implications of sustained short-termism for corporate profits, venture capital investments and returns, private equity investments and returns, and corporate valuations. The paper finds little long-term evidence that is consistent with the predictions of the short-term critics.

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