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Irreversible investment with regime shifts

  • Guo, Xin
  • Miao, Jianjun
  • Morellec, Erwan

Under the real options approach to investment under uncertainty, agents formulate optimal policies under the assumption that firms’ growth prospects do not vary over time. This paper proposes and solves a model of investment decisions in which the growth rate and volatility of the decision variable shift between different states at random times. A value-maximizing investment policy is derived such that in each regime the firm’s investment policy is optimal and recognizes the possiblity of a regime shift. Under this policy, investment is intermittent and increases with marginal q. Moreover, the rate of investment typically is very small but exhibits some spurts of growth. Implications for marginal q and the user cost of capital are also examined.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 122 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 37-59

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:122:y:2005:i:1:p:37-59
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 3865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1993. "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 4296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 581-93, October.
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  5. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  7. Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  8. Abel, Andrew B. & Eberly, Janice C., 1999. "The effects of irreversibility and uncertainty on capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 339-377, December.
  9. Pindyck, Robert S., 1986. "Irreversible investment, capacity choice, and the value of the firm," Working papers 1802-86., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  10. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  11. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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