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An Exact Solution for the Investment and Market Value of a Firm Facing Uncertainty, Adjustment Costs, and Irreversibility

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  • Andrew B. Abel
  • Janice C. Eberly

Abstract

This paper derives closed-form solutions for the investment and market value, under uncertainty, of competitive firms with constant returns to scale production and convex costs of adjustment. Solutions are derived for the case of irreversible investment as well as for reversible investment. Optimal investment is a non-decreasing function of q, the shadow value of capital. The conditions of optimality imply that q cannot contain a bubble; thus, optimal investment depends only on fundamentals. However, the value of the firm may contain a bubble that does not affect investment behavior. Relative to the case of reversible investment, the introduction of irreversibility does not affect q, but it reduces the fundamental market value of the firm.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research in its series Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers with number 12-93.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:pennfi:12-93

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  1. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "A Stochastic Model of Investment, Marginal q and the Market Value of the Firm," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 305-22, June.
  2. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106, February.
  3. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  5. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Irreversible Investment with Price Ceilings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 541-57, June.
  6. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-48, September.
  7. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
  8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-81, September.
  9. Mussa, Michael L, 1977. "External and Internal Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Aggregate and Firm Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(174), pages 163-78, May.
  10. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1993. "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 4296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  12. Pindyck, Robert S., 1986. "Irreversible investment, capacity choice, and the value of the firm," Working papers 1802-86., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  13. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1998. "Irreversible investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-37, March.
  14. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  15. Treadway, Arthur B, 1969. "On Rational Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the Demand for Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(106), pages 227-39, April.
  16. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
  17. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-88, March.
  18. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-77, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Junning Cai, 2004. "Baby Boom, Asset Market Meltdown and Liquidity Trap," Macroeconomics 0401002, EconWPA.
  2. Luisa Affuso & David Newbery, 2002. "The Impact of Structural and Contractual Arrangements on a Vertically Separated Railway," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 33(1), pages 83-92.
  3. Affuso, Luisa & Newbery, David M G, 2000. "Investment, Reprocurement and Franchise Contract Length in the British Railway Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2619, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Junning Cai, 2003. "Asset Prices and Monetary Policy: Some Notes," Macroeconomics 0305006, EconWPA, revised 13 May 2003.
  5. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1995. "The Effects of Irreversibility and Uncertainty on Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 5363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard W. Kopcke, 1995. "Tobin's Q, economic rents, and the optimal stock of capital," Working Papers 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Hjalmar Böhm & Michael Funke & Nikolaus A. Siegfried, 1999. "Discovering the Link between Uncertainty and Investment - Microeconometric Evidence from Germany," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 19906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  8. Junning Cai, 2003. "Fundamental Paper Wealth and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0309001, EconWPA.

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