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Uncertainty, Investment, and Industry Evolution

  • Caballero, Ricardo J
  • Pindyck, Robert S

The authors study the effects of industrywide and idiosyncratic uncertainty on the entry of firms, total investment, and prices in a competitive industry with irreversible investment. They determine entry decisions and the resulting industry equilibrium and its characteristics, emphasizing effects of different sources of uncertainty. The authors stress how irreversibility affects the equilibrium distribution of prices, which in turn affects entry. Finally, they use four-digit U.S. manufacturing data to measure the extent of uncertainty and gauge its importance for investment. The authors find that a doubling of industrywide uncertainty raises the required rate of return on new capital by about 20 percent. Copyright 1996 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 641-62

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:37:y:1996:i:3:p:641-62
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  1. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-48, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  7. Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1985. "Time to Build, Option Value, and Investment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 1654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  9. Bertola, Guiseppe & Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 223-46, April.
  10. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  11. Leahy, J.V., 1991. "The Optimality of Myopic Behaviour in a Competitive Model of Entry and Exit," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1566, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106, February.
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