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A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty

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  • Abel, Andrew B
  • Eberly, Janice C

Abstract

This paper extends the theory of investment under uncertainty to incorporate fixed costs of investment, a wedge between the purchase price and sale price of capital, and potential irreversibility of investment. In this extended framework, investment is a nondecreasing function of q, the shadow price of installed capital. The optimal rate of investment is in one of three regimes (positive, zero, or negative gross investment), depending on the value of q relative to two critical values. In general, however, the shadow price q is not directly observable, so the authors present two examples relating q to observable variables. Copyright 1994 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-1384, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:84:y:1994:i:5:p:1369-84
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-681, September.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Laroque, Guy, 1990. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 25-51, January.
    3. Pindyck, Robert S, 1982. "Adjustment Costs, Uncertainty, and the Behavior of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 415-427, June.
    4. Michael Rothschild, 1971. "On the Cost of Adjustment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 605-622.
    5. Abel, Andrew B & Blanchard, Olivier J, 1983. "An Intertemporal Model of Saving and Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 675-692, May.
    6. 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 163-178, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-288, March.
    9. Lam, Pok-sang, 1989. "Irreversibility and consumer durables expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 135-150, January.
    10. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    11. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1980. "On the state of macroeconomics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-5, January.
    12. Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 403-436, June.
    13. A. B. Treadway, 1969. "On Rational Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the Demand for Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 227-239.
    14. Guiseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 223-246.
    15. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
    16. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-224, January.
    17. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321-321.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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