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Investment and Uncertainty: A Theory-based Empirical Approach

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  • Mikael Carlsson

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikael Carlsson, 2007. "Investment and Uncertainty: A Theory-based Empirical Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 603-617, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:69:y:2007:i:5:p:603-617
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mikael Carlsson & Stefan Laséen, 2005. "Capital Adjustment Patterns In Swedish Manufacturing Firms: What Model Do They Suggest?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 969-986, October.
    2. Nicolas Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2001. "The dynamics of investment under uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W01/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-277, March.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Jacques Mairesse & Bronwyn H. Hall & Benoît Mulkay, 1999. "Firm-Level Investment in France and the United States: An Exploration of What We Have Learned in Twenty Years," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 55-56, pages 27-67.
    7. 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.
    8. Chirinko, Robert S & Schaller, Huntley, 1995. "Why Does Liquidity Matter in Investment Equations?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 527-548, May.
    9. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Mikael Carlsson, 2007. "Investment and Uncertainty: A Theory-based Empirical Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 603-617, October.
    13. 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 119-153, April.
    14. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    15. 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.
    16. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Lennart & Berger, Tommy, 2005. "The Q theory and the Swedish housing market –an empirical test," Working Paper Series 2005:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Mellati, Ali, 2008. "Uncertainty and investment in private sector: An analytical argument and a review of the economy of Iran," MPRA Paper 26655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Byrne, Joseph P & Spaliara, Marina-Eliza & Serafeim, Tsoukas, 2014. "Firm survival, uncertainty and financial frictions: Is there a financial uncertainty accelerator?," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-62, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Johansson, Fredrik & Klevmarken, Anders, 2006. "Explaining the size and nature of response in a survey on health status and economic standard," Working Paper Series 2006:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Mikael Carlsson, 2007. "Investment and Uncertainty: A Theory-based Empirical Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 603-617, October.
    6. Byrne, Joseph P & Spaliara, Marina-Eliza & Serafeim, Tsoukas, 2015. "Firm survival, uncertainty and financial frictions: Is there a financial uncertainty accelerator?," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-68, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Joseph P. Byrne & Marina-Eliza Spaliara & Serafeim Tsoukas, 2016. "Firm Survival, Uncertainty, And Financial Frictions: Is There A Financial Uncertainty Accelerator?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 375-390, January.
    8. Mohn, Klaus & Misund, Bård, 2009. "Investment and uncertainty in the international oil and gas industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 240-248, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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