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Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants

  • Mark E. Doms

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Timothy Dunne

    (Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma and Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Census Bureau)

A common result from altering several fundamental assumptions of the neoclassical investment model with convex adjustment costs is that investment may occur in lumpy episodes. This paper takes a step back and asks "How lumpy is investment?" We answer this question by documenting the distributions of investment and capital adjustment for a sample of over 13,700 manufacturing plants drawn from over 300 four-digit industries. We find that many plants do undergo large investment episodes; however, there is tremendous variation across plants in their capital accumulation patterns. This paper explores how the variation in capital accumulation patterns vary by observable plant and firm characteristics, and how large investment episodes at the plant level transmit into fluctuations in aggregate investment. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1998.0011
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 409-429

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:1:y:1998:i:2:p:409-429
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. 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.
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  10. 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.
  11. Cabalero, R.J., 1997. "Aggregaete Investment," Working papers 97-20, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  13. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, . "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  14. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
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