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What Fraction of a Capital Investment Is Sunk Costs?

  • Asplund, Marcus

To what extent are capital investments sunk costs? This question is addressed by examining the salvage values of discarded metalworking machinery. Even though such assets are expected to be non-specific, many discarded assets are scrapped rather than sold on second-hand markets. Econometric results suggest that firms can only expect to get back 20-50 percent of the initial price of a "new" machine once it is installed. The results also indicate differences in value-age profiles across firms, but provide only weak support for the hypothesis that salvage values are particularly low during recessions. Copyright 2000 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Industrial Economics.

Volume (Year): 48 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 287-304

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:48:y:2000:i:3:p:287-304
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  1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  2. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  3. Ramey, Valerie A & SHAPIRO, MATTHEW D, 1998. "Displaced Capital," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt49k7n14z, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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  6. Prais, S J, 1986. "Some International Comparisons of the Age of the Machine-Stock," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 261-77, March.
  7. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  8. Showalter, Mark H, 1994. "A Monte Carlo Investigation of the Box-Cox Model and a Nonlinear Least Squares Alternative," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 560-70, August.
  9. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Stephen D. Oliner, 1993. "New evidence on the retirement and depreciation of machine tools," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 147, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. B. Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1980. "Exit Barriers are Entry Barriers: The Durability of Capital as a Barrier to Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 721-729, Autumn.
  12. Baumol, William J & Willig, Robert D, 1981. "Fixed Costs, Sunk Costs, Entry Barriers, and Sustainability of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 405-31, August.
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