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The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Evidence from Texas Oil Drilling

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  • Ryan Kellogg

Abstract

This paper estimates the response of investment to changes in uncertainty using data on oil drilling in Texas and the expected volatility of the future price of oil. Using a dynamic model of firms' investment problem, I find that: (1) the response of drilling activity to changes in price volatility has a magnitude consistent with the optimal response prescribed by theory, (2) the cost of failing to respond to volatility shocks is economically significant, and (3) implied volatility data derived from futures options prices yields a better fit to firms' investment behavior than backward-looking volatility measures such as GARCH.

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  • Ryan Kellogg, 2014. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Evidence from Texas Oil Drilling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1698-1734, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:6:p:1698-1734
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.6.1698
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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