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An Exact Soultion 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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4412.

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Date of creation: Jul 1993
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 21 (1997): 831-852.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4412

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  1. Robert S. Pindyck, 1986. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-84, December.
  3. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert S. Pindyck, 1990. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Irreversible Investment with Price Ceilings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 541-57, June.
  9. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Ben S. Bernanke, 1980. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," NBER Working Papers 0502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-77, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-81, September.
  15. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1998. "Irreversible investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-37, March.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Junning Cai, 2004. "Baby Boom, Asset Market Meltdown and Liquidity Trap," Macroeconomics 0401002, EconWPA.
  3. Junning Cai, 2003. "Fundamental Paper Wealth and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0309001, EconWPA.
  4. 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.
  5. Junning Cai, 2003. "Asset Prices and Monetary Policy: Some Notes," Macroeconomics 0305006, EconWPA, revised 13 May 2003.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Richard W. Kopcke, 1995. "Tobin's Q, economic rents, and the optimal stock of capital," Working Papers 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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