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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. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," NBER Working Papers 5260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-84, December.
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  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-383.
  9. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Fluctuations with Microeconomic Asymmetries," NBER Working Papers 5767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1993. "The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 360-82, June.
  13. Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
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  15. 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.
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