What Do Micro Data Reveal About the User Cost Elasticity?: New Evidence on the Responsiveness of Business Capital Formation
AbstractThe price sensitivity of business investment spending is a central element in economic analysis. A substantial response of capital spending to its user cost, which combines interest, tax, and depreciation rates with relative prices, is critical to evaluating the effectiveness of monetary policy, deficit reduction, and tax reform. In spite of this central role, however, the supporting evidence for a substantial user cost elasticity (UCE) is modest. Several important concerns suggest a downward bias in elasticities estimated from the aggregate data typically employed in UCE research. These biases may arise from firm heterogeneity, measurement error, capital market frictions, and simultaneity. While such biases are theoretically plausible, their empirical importance remains to be substantiated. With a particularly rich data set, containing over 26,000 observations, this paper explores what can be learned about the UCE from micro data. Investment and firm-level control variables are taken from an extensive panel of Compustrat forms. To construct the user cost, we tap a new data source that provides variation across firms as well as across time. A number of the econometric biases mentioned above have a substantial impact on the estimated UCE. After correcting for the biases, we obtain a precisely estimated but small value for the UCE of about -0.25. The effects of capital gain tax cuts and the "flat-tax" proposal on investment are evaluated with this estimated UCE.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_175.
Date of creation: Nov 1996
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org
Other versions of this item:
- Robert S. Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari & Andrew P. Meyer, 1998. "What Do Micro Data Reveal About the User Cost Elasticity?: New Evidence on the Responsiveness of Business Capital Formation," Macroeconomics 9805011, EconWPA.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert S. Chirinko, 1993.
"Business fixed investment spending: a critical survey of modeling strategies, empirical results, and policy implications,"
Research Working Paper
93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- Steven M. Fazzari & Benjamin Herzon, 1995.
"Capital Gains Tax Cuts, Investment, and Growth,"
Economics Working Paper Archive
wp_147, Levy Economics Institute, The.
- Urga, G., 1992. "The Econometrics of Panel Data: A Selective Introduction," Economics Series Working Papers 99151, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984.
"Errors in Variables in Panel Data,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995.
"Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
- M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Stephen Oliner & Glenn Rudebusch & Daniel Sichel, 1993.
"New and old models of business investment: a comparison of forecasting performance,"
Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section
141, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Oliner, Stephen & Rudebusch, Glenn & Sichel, Daniel, 1995. "New and Old Models of Business Investment: A Comparison of Forecasting Performance," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 806-26, August.
- Chirinko, Robert S, 1988. "Business Tax Policy, the Lucas Critique, and Lessons from the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 206-10, May.
- Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988.
"Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment,"
NBER Working Papers
2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert S. Chirinko & Huntley Schaller, 1993.
"Why does liquidity matter in investment equations?,"
Research Working Paper
93-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Chirinko, Robert S & Schaller, Huntley, 1995. "Why Does Liquidity Matter in Investment Equations?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 527-48, May.
- Fazzari, Steven M & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Investment, Financing Decisions, and Tax Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 200-205, May.
- Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
- Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "The Importance of Measurement Error in the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 7558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.