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Investment with Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?

  • Hassett, Kevin A
  • Metcalf, Gilbert E

The authors consider the impact of tax policy uncertainty on firm level and aggregate investment, comparing investment behavior when uncertainty is due to a shock following geometric Brownian motion (GBM) versus when random discrete jumps in tax policy occur. Expectations of the likelihood of a tax policy switch have an important negative impact on the gain to delaying investment in the latter model and time to investment can fall with increasing tax policy uncertainty. Aggregate investment simulations indicate that capital formation is adversely affected by increases in uncertainty in the traditional GBM model but can be enhanced in the jump process model.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 109 (1999)
Issue (Month): 457 (July)
Pages: 372-93

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:109:y:1999:i:457:p:372-93
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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. James M. Poterba, 1991. "Dividends, Capital Gains, and the Corporate Veil: Evidence from Britain, Canada, and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 49-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. 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.
  6. Jack, William & Viard, Alan D., 1996. "Production efficiency and the design of temporary investment incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 87-106, July.
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  9. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  10. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Kevin A. Hassett, 1995. "Investment Under Alternative Return Assumptions: Comparing Random Walks and Mean Reversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
  15. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "A Stochastic Model of Investment, Marginal q and the Market Value of the Firm," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 305-22, June.
  16. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-77, March.
  17. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
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