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Investment and Uncertainty: A Theory-based Empirical Approach

  • Mikael Carlsson

This paper provides empirical evidence on the dynamic effects of uncertainty on firm-level capital accumulation. A novelty in this paper is that the firm-level uncertainty indicator is motivated and derived from a theoretical model, the neoclassical investment model with time to build. This model also serves as the base for the empirical work, where an error-correction approach is employed. I find a negative effect of uncertainty on capital accumulation, both in the short run and the long run. This outcome cannot be explained by the model alone. Instead, the results suggest that the predominant mechanism at work stems from irreversibility constraints. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 603-617

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:69:y:2007:i:5:p:603-617
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  1. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  2. Nicholas Bloom & Steve Bond & John Van Reenen, 2001. "The dynamics of investment under uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W01/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mulkay, Benoit, 1998. "Firm Level Investment in France and the United States: An Exploration of What We Have Learned in Twenty Years," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5tp4r5nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
  5. Mikael Carlsson, 2003. "Measures of Technology and the Short-run Response to Technology Shocks," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 555-579, December.
  6. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999. "Aggregate investment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862 Elsevier.
  7. Leahy, John V & Whited, Toni M, 1996. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 64-83, February.
  8. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  9. Bond, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 65 Elsevier.
  10. Carruth, Alan & Dickerson, Andrew & Henley, Andrew, 2000. " What Do We Know about Investment under Uncertainty?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 119-53, April.
  11. Carlsson, M. & Laseen, S., 2001. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Swedish Manufacturing Firms: What Model do they Suggest?," Papers 2001-15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  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. Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 2000. "The Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Investment in Small and Large Businesses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 338-343, May.
  14. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  15. Robert S. Chirinko & Huntley Schaller, 1993. "Why does liquidity matter in investment equations?," Research Working Paper 93-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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