An international study of peer effects on corporate investments

Michael Machokoto*, Daniel Gyimah, Abongeh Tunyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper


Using a large sample of 17,747 firms from 44 countries, we find significant positive peer effects on corporate investment. Specifically, a firm increases its investments by 2% to 6% in response to a one standard deviation increase in peer firms' investments. Further analyses show significant within-country heterogeneity, as peer effects are salient for larger, mature, high-tangibility and high-market power firms with ample resources and latitude to respond to rival firms. In contrast, we find no significant cross-country heterogeneity in peer effects conditional on institutional quality, legal origin, and financial development, suggesting that peer effects similarly matter across countries. Our results further show that mimicking peer firms' investments positively affects shareholder value, with this effect being salient in good macroeconomic states. In summary, our study shows substantial industrial interdependence in corporate investments which might amplify positive and negative firm-specific shocks within and across industries and countries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

The data that support the empirical findings of this study is available from Thomson Reuters Datastream. Restrictions may apply to the availability of this data, which was used under license. Data for measures of institutional development is available from the Morgan Stanley Capital International Market Framework (MSCI), The World Bank (World Bank) and International Monetary Fund (IMF)


  • peer effect
  • capital expenditure
  • institutions
  • legal origin
  • financial development
  • financial crisis
  • mimicking
  • shareholder value


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