Investment, Private Information and Social Learning: A Case Study of the Semiconductor Industry
AbstractSocial learning models of investment provide an interesting alternative explanation for sudden changes in investment behaviour. Caplin and Leahy (1994) develop a model of social learning in which agents learn about the true state of demand from the investment suspension decisions of other agents. In this paper, I test the main predictions of their model using a unique database of investment projects undertaken by semiconductor plants. I find that firms that are installing a significant new technology appear to be influenced by social learning because they are more likely to suspend their investment project when other suspensions occur. A 1% increase in the number of other suspensions increases the probability of suspension by an average new technology plant by 3.6%. Others’ suspensions also significantly affects plants that use conventional technology, but it is a negative effect. The conventional technology plants are less likely to suspend their investment project when other firms suspend, which suggests that their payoffs are strategic substitutes as in a “war of attrition” game.
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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 23 Sep 2004
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social learning; business cycles; investment; technology adoption; observational learning;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
- C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2004-09-30 (Business Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2004-09-30 (Macroeconomics)
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