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A Generalised Model of Investment under Uncertainty: Aggregation and Estimation

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  • Nicholas Bloom

    (University College London)

Abstract

We propose a structural model of investment which is based on the aggregation of (S,s) investment projects within firms. This encompasses the findings that whilst firm level investment is smooth, plant level investment is lumpy and frequently zero. We undertake stochastic aggregation and derive a structural firm level investment estimator. The empirical performance and fit of this estimator on a panel of manufacturing firms is encouraging and provides an avenue for general policy simulation. This model also explains the rich non-linear dynamics of firm level investment data and the frequent simultaneity of firm level investment and disinvestment. This approach provides an alternative structural estimator to the standard convex adjustment cost models, such as Tobin's Q and the Euler equation. The is important because these estimators, which assume quadratic adjustment costs, appear to be misspecified and subject to a fallacy of composition between smooth firm level investment and lumpy plant level investment. For completeness we also consider time aggregation as an alternative source of smoothing but statistically reject this as being insufficient to smooth investment alone. This test also rejects most plant level data, such as the US\ LRD and UK\ ARD, as being generated from a single (S,s) process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1505.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1505

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  2. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
  4. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
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  10. Caballero, R.J. & Engel, E.M.R.A., 1990. "Dynamic (S,S) Economies," Discussion Papers 1990_44, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  11. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1990. "Kinked Adjustment Costs and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 237-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. 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.
  17. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1996. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 12, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  18. Richard Hartman & Michael Hendrickson, 1999. "Optimal Partially Reversible Investment," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0032, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  19. Andrew B. Abel & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1983. "The Present Value of Profits and Cyclical Movements in Investment," NBER Working Papers 1122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 3865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
  24. John Sutton, 1996. "Gibrat's legacy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2194, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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