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The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Evidence from Texas Oil Drilling

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  • Ryan Kellogg

Abstract

This paper estimates the response of investment to changes in uncertainty using data on oil drilling in Texas and the expected volatility of the future price of oil. Using a dynamic model of firms' investment problem, I find that: (1) the response of drilling activity to changes in price volatility has a magnitude consistent with the optimal response prescribed by theory, (2) the cost of failing to respond to volatility shocks is economically significant, and (3) implied volatility data derived from futures options prices yields a better fit to firms' investment behavior than backward-looking volatility measures such as GARCH.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 1698-1734

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:6:p:1698-1734

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.6.1698
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  1. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
  2. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  3. John V. Leahy & Toni M. Whited, 1995. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," NBER Working Papers 4986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-49, April.
  5. Pablo A. Guerron-Quintana & Martin Uribe & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, 2009. "Risk Matters: The Real E¤ects of Volatility Shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 237, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  7. Nick Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0739, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2014. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Working Papers 14-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. John A. List & Michael S. Haigh, 2010. "Investment under Uncertainty: Testing the Options Model with Professional Traders," NBER Working Papers 16038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ryan Kellogg, 2009. "Learning by Drilling: Inter-Firm Learning and Relationship Persistence in the Texas Oilpatch," NBER Working Papers 15060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2009. "Uncertain Times, uncertain measures," Working Papers tecipa-352, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  13. Ser-Huang Poon & Clive W.J. Granger, 2003. "Forecasting Volatility in Financial Markets: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 478-539, June.
  14. Timothy Dunne & Xiaoyi Mu, 2008. "Investment spikes and uncertainty in the petroleum refining industry," Working Paper 0805, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. Hassler, John, 2001. " Uncertainty and the Timing of Automobile Purchases," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 351-66, June.
  16. Robert S. Pindyck, 1990. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Wiggins, Steven N & Libecap, Gary D, 1985. "Oil Field Unitization: Contractual Failure in the Presence of Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 368-85, June.
  18. John Hassler, . "Variations in Risk and Fluctuations in Demand - a theoretical model," Homapage Papers _003, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  19. Szakmary, Andrew & Ors, Evren & Kyoung Kim, Jin & Davidson, Wallace III, 2003. "The predictive power of implied volatility: Evidence from 35 futures markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 2151-2175, November.
  20. Hull, John C & White, Alan D, 1987. " The Pricing of Options on Assets with Stochastic Volatilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 281-300, June.
  21. Paddock, James L & Siegel, Daniel R & Smith, James L, 1988. "Option Valuation of Claims on Real Assets: The Case of Offshore Petroleum Leases," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 479-508, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Ine Van Robays, 2012. "Macroeconomic Uncertainty and the Impact of Oil Shocks," CESifo Working Paper Series 3937, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2011. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," CEPR Discussion Papers 8388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Lutz Kilian & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Nonlinearities in the oil price-output relationship," International Finance Discussion Papers 1013, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Soren T. Anderson & Ryan Kellogg & Stephen W. Salant, 2014. "Hotelling Under Pressure," NBER Working Papers 20280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Plante & Nora Traum, 2012. "Time-varying oil price volatility and macroeconomic aggregates," Working Papers 1201, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  6. Soojin Jo, 2012. "The Effects of Oil Price Uncertainty on the Macroeconomy," Working Papers 12-40, Bank of Canada.
  7. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-03 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Muehlenbachs, Lucija, 2012. "Testing for Avoidance of Environmental Obligations," Discussion Papers dp-12-12, Resources For the Future.

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