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Irreversible capital accumulation under interest rate uncertainty

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  • Luis Alvarez

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Abstract

We consider the optimal sequential irreversible investment policy of a value maximizing firm facing decreasing returns to scale and interest rate uncertainty. We characterize the optimal accumulation policy and its value for a broad class of diffusion models of the short interest rate by focusing on the marginal investment decision and deriving the marginal value of capital explicitly. We also state a set of conditions under which there is a maximal capital stock above which the option to expand productive capacity further in the future becomes valueless. Hence, our results indicate that interest rate uncertainty may limit the size of an optimally investing firm. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2010

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00186-010-0319-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Mathematical Methods of Operations Research.

Volume (Year): 72 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 249-271

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Handle: RePEc:spr:compst:v:72:y:2010:i:2:p:249-271

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Related research

Keywords: Interest rate uncertainty; Irreversible investment; Incremental capital accumulation; G31; G11; E22;

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References

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  1. Alvarez, Luis H R & Koskela, Erkki, 2003. "On Forest Rotation under Interest Rate Variability," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 489-503, August.
  2. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1995. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," NBER Working Papers 5091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Abel, Andrew B. & Eberly, Janice C., 1999. "The effects of irreversibility and uncertainty on capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 339-377, December.
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  6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1974. "On the Role of Expectations in the Pure Theory of Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 1-19, January.
  7. Pindyck, Robert, 1989. "Irreversibility, uncertainty, and investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 294, The World Bank.
  8. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "An asymptotic theory of growth under uncertainty," Working papers 673-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1992. "Waiting to Invest: Investment and Uncertainty," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, January.
  10. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 5227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pindyck, Robert S, 1988. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 969-85, December.
  12. Alvarez, Luis H. R. & Koskela, Erkki, 2005. "Wicksellian theory of forest rotation under interest rate variability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 529-545, March.
  13. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1998. "Irreversible investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-37, March.
  14. Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Irreversible Investment with Uncertainty and Scale Economies," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1992/240, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  15. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  16. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1980. " An Analysis of Variable Rate Loan Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 389-403, May.
  17. Nickell, Stephen J, 1974. "On Expectations, Government Policy and the Rate of Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(163), pages 241-55, August.
  18. Baldwin, Carliss Y, 1982. " Optimal Sequential Investment When Capital Is Not Readily Reversible," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(3), pages 763-82, June.
  19. Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2006. "Irreversible Investment under Interest Rate Variability: Some Generalizations," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 623-644, March.
  20. Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 2003. "Financial Frictions and Investment: Requiem in Q," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 710-728, October.
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