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Firms' investment decisions in response to demand and price uncertainty

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  • Fuss, Catherine
  • Vermeulen, Philip

Abstract

We estimate the effect of demand and price uncertainty on firms’ investment decisions from a panel of manufacturing firms. Uncertainty measures are derived from firms’ subjective qualitative expectations. They are close to their theoretical counterparts, the variances of future demand and price shocks. We find that demand uncertainty depresses planned and realized investment, while price uncertainty is insignificant. This is consistent with the behavior of monopolistic firms with irreversible capital (Caballero, 1991). Further, firms revise their investment plans very little. They may do so in response to new information on sales growth, but not as a result of reduced uncertainty. JEL Classification: D21, D24, D81, D92, C23

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0347.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040347

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Keywords: Investment; panel data; real options; survey data; uncertainty;

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  1. Bomberger, William A, 1996. "Disagreement as a Measure of Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 381-92, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Bellmann, Lutz & Gerner, Hans-Dieter & Hübler, Olaf, 2013. "Investment under Company-Level Pacts," IZA Discussion Papers 7195, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ruediger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2010. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 16143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rozalia Pal & Roman Kozhan, 2008. "Firms' Investment under Financial Constraints: A Euro Area Investigation," Working Papers wp08-07, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  4. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Bayer, Christian, 2013. "‘Wait-and-See’ business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 704-719.
  5. Ibrahim, Mansor H. & Ahmed, Huson Joher Ali, 2014. "Permanent and transitory oil volatility and aggregate investment in Malaysia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 552-563.
  6. 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.
  7. Mohn, Klaus & Misund, Bård, 2009. "Investment and uncertainty in the international oil and gas industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 240-248, March.
  8. Thomas Post & Katja Hanewald, 2010. "Stochastic Mortality, Subjective Survival Expectations, and Individual Saving Behavior," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  9. Post, Thomas & Hanewald, Katja, 2013. "Longevity risk, subjective survival expectations, and individual saving behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 200-220.
  10. Farla, Kristine, 2013. "Determinants of firms' investment behaviour: A multilevel approach," MERIT Working Papers 055, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  11. Gianluca Femminis, 2012. "Risk aversion heterogeneity and the investment-uncertainty relationship," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq1260, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  12. Rozália Pál & Roman Kozhan, 2006. "Firms' investment under financing constraints. An euro area investigation," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0606, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, revised 21 Jul 2006.

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