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Investment adjustment costs: evidence from UK and US industries

  • Charlotta Groth
  • Hashmat Khan

In aggregate models, costs that penalise changes in investment - investment adjustment costs - have been introduced to help account for a variety of business cycle and asset market phenomena. In this paper, we evaluate empirical evidence for these types of costs using US and UK industry data. We consider a general adjustment cost structure which nests both investment adjustment costs and the traditional capital adjustment costs as special cases. The estimated weight on the former is close to zero for all the industries. When only the investment adjustment cost structure is considered, the estimates of the adjustment cost parameter are small relative to those based on aggregate data, and imply an elasticity of investment with respect to the shadow price of capital (the value to the firm of one additional unit of capital) fifteen times larger than that found in aggregate studies. Our results suggest that from a disaggregated empirical perspective it remains difficult to motivate and interpret the investment friction considered in recent macroeconomic models.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 332.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:332
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