Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment
In: Handbook of Econometrics
We survey recent microeconometric research on investment and employment that has used panel data on individual firms or plants. We focus on model specification and econometric estimation issues, but we also review some of the main empirical findings. We discuss advantages and limitations of microeconomic data in this context. We briefly review the neoclassical theory of the demand for capital and labour, on which most of the econometric models of investment and employment that we consider are based. We pay particular attention to dynamic factor demand models, based on the assumption that there are costs of adjustment, which have played a prominent role especially in the microeconometric literature on investment. With adjustment costs, current choices depend on expectations of future conditions. We discuss the challenges that this raises for econometric model specification, and some of the solutions that have been adopted. We also discuss estimation issues that arise for dynamic factor demand equations in the context of micro panel data for firms or plants. We then discuss a number of topics that have been the focus of recent microeconometric research on investment and employment. In particular, we review the literatures on investment and financing constraints, relative price effects on investment and employment, investment and uncertainty, investment in research and development (R&D), elasticities of substitution and complementarity between technology, capital and skilled and unskilled labour, and recent work on models with non-convex adjustment costs.
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