Real investment decisions under adjustment costs and asymmetric information
We study the cost-of-adjustment model of investment when there is asymmetry of information between owners (the principal) and managers (the agent). Information asymmetry distorts the relationship between investment and the cost of capital for all agent types, and a regime of inaction appears over a certain cost range, in an observationnally different way than when fixed adjustment costs, or irreversibilities, cause a similar phenomenon. Uncertainty, in the form of an increase in the spread of agents' types, tends to reduce investment despite symmetric adjustment cost and perfect competition. The model gives a new interpretation of Tobin's q under asymmetric information, explaining some results of the mergers and acquisition literature.
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