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Profitability, capacity, and uncertainty: a model of UK manufacturing investment

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  • Ciaran Driver
  • Paul Temple
  • Giovanni Urga

Abstract

Standard models fail to explain variation in UK capital investment. This paper develops and tests a new theory based on the insights of Edmond Malinvaud, in which investment under uncertainty is adjusted to balance the cost of excess and deficient capacity. Using quarterly UK manufacturing data on two capital assets (machinery and building) over a 30-year period, we obtain unique cointegrating relationships for the model, linking investment, profitability and capacity utilization. Non-nested testing shows that the estimated model performs similarly to a frequently used survey of investment intentions. Our model also addresses differences in the behaviour of the two asset classes; we show that building investment fell relative to machinery investment over the period, reflecting not only relative prices and profitability, but also long term influences such as technology or governance. At the macro level we find little role for any effects from taxation or financial constraints. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciaran Driver & Paul Temple & Giovanni Urga, 2005. "Profitability, capacity, and uncertainty: a model of UK manufacturing investment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 120-141, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:57:y:2005:i:1:p:120-141
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    Cited by:

    1. Vivek Ghosal & Yang Ye, 2015. "Uncertainty and the employment dynamics of small and large businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 529-558, March.
    2. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2014. "The Response Of Firms' Leverage To Risk: Evidence From Uk Public Versus Nonpublic Manufacturing Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 341-363, January.
    3. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Boyan Liu, 2010. "The impact of macroeconomic uncertainty on firms' changes in financial leverage," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 22-30.
    4. Caglayan, Mustafa & Demir, Firat, 2014. "Firm Productivity, Exchange Rate Movements, Sources of Finance, and Export Orientation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 204-219.
    5. Wang, Yong & Xiang, Erwei & Cheung, Adrian (Wai Kong) & Ruan, Wenjuan & Hu, Wei, 2017. "International oil price uncertainty and corporate investment: Evidence from China's emerging and transition economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 330-339.
    6. Christopher F. Baum & Andreas Stephan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2009. "The Effects Of Uncertainty On The Leverage Of Nonfinancial Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 216-225, April.
    7. Mustafa Caglayan & Firat Demir, 2011. "Firm productivity, exchange rate movements, sources of finance and export orientationInventories and sales uncertainty," Working Papers 2011004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2011.
    8. Christopher F. Baum & Dorothea Schäfer & Oleksandr Talavera, 2006. "The Effects of Industry-Level Uncertainty on Cash Holdings: The Case of Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 638, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Bo, Hong & Driver, Ciaran & Lin, Hsiang-Chun Michael, 2014. "Corporate investment during the financial crisis: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-12.
    10. Thomas, Sebastian, 2014. "Blue carbon: Knowledge gaps, critical issues, and novel approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 22-38.
    11. Talavera, Oleksandr & Tsapin, Andriy & Zholud, Oleksandr, 2012. "Macroeconomic uncertainty and bank lending: The case of Ukraine," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 279-293.
    12. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Liyan Han & Boyan Liu, 2012. "The effects of uncertainty and corporate governance on firms’ demand for liquidity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 515-525, February.
    13. Mustafa Caglayan & Abdul Rashid, 2010. "The response of firms' leverage to uncertainty: Evidence from UK public versus non-public firms," Working Papers 2010019, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.
    14. repec:eme:ijmfpp:ijmf-12-2015-0210 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Baum, Christopher F. & Caglayan, Mustafa & Stephan, Andreas & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2008. "Uncertainty determinants of corporate liquidity," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 833-849, September.
    16. Kamel Helali & Maha Kalai & Thouraya Boujelbene, 2016. "Short-run decomposition of profit efficiency and its relationship with the Tunisian manufacturing capacity utilisation," International Journal of Applied Management Science, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1), pages 38-51.
    17. Driver, Ciaran & Guedes, Maria João Coelho, 2012. "Research and development, cash flow, agency and governance: UK large companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1565-1577.
    18. repec:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12197-016-9370-x is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Vivek Ghosal & Yang Ye, 2013. "Business Decision-Making under Uncertainty: Evidence from Employment and Number of Businesses," CESifo Working Paper Series 4312, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Atreya Chakraborty & Christopher F. Baum & Boyan Liu, 2017. "Corporate financial policy and the value of cash under uncertainty," International Journal of Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 13(2), pages 149-164, April.

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