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Profitability, capacity, and uncertainty: a model of UK manufacturing investment

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  • Ciaran Driver
  • Paul Temple
  • Giovanni Urga

Abstract

Standard models fail to explain variation in UK capital investment. This paper develops and tests a new theory based on the insights of Edmond Malinvaud, in which investment under uncertainty is adjusted to balance the cost of excess and deficient capacity. Using quarterly UK manufacturing data on two capital assets (machinery and building) over a 30-year period, we obtain unique cointegrating relationships for the model, linking investment, profitability and capacity utilization. Non-nested testing shows that the estimated model performs similarly to a frequently used survey of investment intentions. Our model also addresses differences in the behaviour of the two asset classes; we show that building investment fell relative to machinery investment over the period, reflecting not only relative prices and profitability, but also long term influences such as technology or governance. At the macro level we find little role for any effects from taxation or financial constraints. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 57 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 120-141

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:57:y:2005:i:1:p:120-141

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Cited by:
  1. Oleksandr Talavera & Andriy Tsapin & Oleksandr Zholud, 2006. "Macroeconomic Uncertainty and Bank Lending: The Case of Ukraine," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 637, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Driver, Ciaran & Guedes, Maria João Coelho, 2012. "Research and development, cash flow, agency and governance: UK large companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1565-1577.
  3. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Boyan Liu, 2010. "The impact of macroeconomic uncertainty on firms' changes in financial leverage," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 22-30.
  4. Vivek Ghosal & Yang Ye, 2013. "Business Decision-Making under Uncertainty: Evidence from Employment and Number of Businesses," CESifo Working Paper Series 4312, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Liyan Han & Boyan Liu, 2012. "The effects of uncertainty and corporate governance on firms’ demand for liquidity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 515-525, February.
  6. Christopher F. Baum & Dorothea Schäfer & Oleksandr Talavera, 2006. "The Effects of Industry-Level Uncertainty on Cash Holdings: The Case of Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 638, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2014. "The Response Of Firms' Leverage To Risk: Evidence From Uk Public Versus Nonpublic Manufacturing Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 341-363, 01.
  8. Demir, Firat & Caglayan, Mustafa, 2012. "Firm Productivity, Exchange Rate Movements, Sources of Finance and Export Orientation," MPRA Paper 37397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Andreas Stephan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2005. "Uncertainty Determinants of Corporate Liquidity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 634, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Oct 2006.

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